Everything is Everything

Everything is Everything

From May 18 to June 30, 2017, Stevenson Gallery will present Everything is Everything by South African artist Jo Ractliffe. The exhibition comprises previously unpublished images spanning about 25 years and explores the idea of the photograph ‘without purpose’, unhinged from a specific project or body of work.

In the words of the artist: “Such a photograph might be one taken for no reason other than to expose the remaining frames in a roll of film after a photographic shoot, or to test the workings of a newly acquired camera. Or it might manifest itself spontaneously, by chance, while you’re on your way looking to something else. In this way, a photograph without purpose might be seen as one that occurs through happenstance, rather than intentionality. But a photograph without purpose might also be one that asserts its own reason d’être, refusing to comply with the narrative or conceptual intentions of the larger body of work.”

Reflecting the fluid nature of the images, Everything is Everything presents photographs produced with a wide range of film cameras including professional medium format, plastic toy and 35mm point-and-shoot cameras, as well as a Nokia cell phone and 35mm digital camera.

Jo Ractliffe was born in 1961 in Cape Town and lives there. The artist holds a diploma in fine art from Ruth Prowse School of Art, Cape Town and a bachelor and masters degree in fine art from Michaelis School of Fine Arts, University of Cape Town. Throughout her career, she has directed her camera toward landscapes to address themes of displacement, conflict, history, memory, and erasure.

Ractliffe has exhibited in a number of group and solo shows, including As Terras do Fim do Mundo, Walther Collection Project Space, New York, USA and Brodie/Stevenson, Johannesburg, South Africa (2011); Someone Else’s Country, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Massachusetts (2014); After War, Fondation A Stichting, Brussels (2015); The Aftermath of Conflict: Jo Ractliffe’s Photographs of Angola and South Africa, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2015); Things Fall Apart, Calvert 22, London, UK; University of Bayreuth, Germany; Gallery Municipais, Lisbon (2016).




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