Carla Liesching (b.1985) is a South African multidisciplinary artist working in photography, sculpture, writing, performance and sound. Grounded in experiences growing up in South Africa, her work considers the intersections of representation, knowledge and power; exploring colonial conceptions of race, identity and geography. She has participated in numerous group and solo exhibitions in her home country and internationally. As part of her socially engaged practice, Liesching is also an educator and youth advocate focused on photography and visual literacy as a vehicle for change. Liesching has taught at schools and community-based organizations around the world, including The Market Photo Workshop in Johannesburg, founded during the Apartheid era to accommodate students of all racial backgrounds. Since 2013 Liesching has been based in New York City, working as Community Programs Faculty at the International Center of Photography (ICP) and managing ICP’s Teen Academy program, which serves over 750 high school students a year with the goal of fostering skills in self-expression and self-esteem through photography, critical thinking, writing, and public speaking. Liesching is currently a candidate in Ithaca College’s Image Text MFA program.

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SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2014: Nihiliphobia [Expeditions into the Unknown #1-15], Brundyn+ Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa

2011: The Swimmers, Brundyn+ Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa

2008: Masked Portraits, Gordon Froud Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa

2008: A Bear in the Woods, Moja Modern, Johannesburg, South Africa

 

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS & FAIRS

2017: Beijing Photo Festival, Beijing, China

2017: The Whiteness Issue, The Racial Imaginary Institute, NYC

2017: The New York Art Book Fair (Image Text Ithaca + Oranbeg Press), MoMA PS.1, NYC

2017: Fluxuating Monuments, Handwerker Gallery, Ithaca NY

2017: The Artist's Body, Studio Duo, NYC

2016: Snap to Grid, Los Angeles Center for Digital Art

2015: Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Museum of Art Biennial

2015: The Foto Fence, South African National Arts Festival exhibition, NMMMA, South Africa

2014: Portfolio Afrique Du Sud, Recyclart, Brussels, Belgium

2014: The Benediction of Shade II, David Krut Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa

2014: The New York Art Book Fair (ICP-Bard), MoMA PS.1, NYC

2013: Portafolio Invitado, Foto Museo, Bogota, Colombia

2013: The Benediction of Shade, David Krut Gallery, Cape town, South Africa

2013: John Liebenburg South African Photography, Stephan Welz. & Co. Johannesburg

2013: The Garden, Julia Meintjies Fine Art, Stellenbosch, South Africa

2012: Material Representation, Brundyn + Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa

2012: Africa Number Two, Recyclart, Brussels, Belgium

2012: Cross Currents, David Krut Gallery, Cape Town & Johannesburg, South Africa

2012: FNB Johannesburg Art Fair, Brundyn+ Gonsalves Gallery, South Africa

2012: MOPHA [CT month of photography], Cape Town, South Africa

2011: Lens: Fractions of Contemporary Photography and Video in South Africa, Stellenbosch Art Museum

2011: Infecting the City, Public Arts Festival, Cape Town, South Africa

2011: FNB Johannesburg Art Fair, Brundyn + Gonsalves, South Africa

2011: The Swimmers, Wembley Project Space, iArt Gallery, South Africa

2011: The Swimmers, South African National Arts Festival

2010: I am Solitary I am an Army, Surface Gallery & Beers. Lambert, London, UK

2010: Colours, Albany History Museum, Grahamstown, South Africa

2010: Spier Contemporary Biennale, South Africa

2009: Art from the Ground Up, Lower Saxony Cultural Institute, Germany

2009: An Animal Collective Tea Party, Berlin, Johannesburg

2009: Absa L'Atelier, finalist, South Africa

 

BOOKS AND PUBLICATIONS

2015: Mysterious Island: Self-published (limited edition), Printed by Conveyor Arts, New York, USA

2014: Nihiliphobia: Published by Brundyn+ Gallery, Printed by Hansa Print, South Africa

2011: The Swimmers: Published by iART Gallery, Printed by Hansa Print, South Africa

2010: Contemporary Visions I (I am Solitary I am an Army): Published by Beers London, UK

2010: Spier Contemporary 2010 Biennale, Published by Spier Contemporary, South Africa

 

SELECTED PRESS, FEATURES AND LINKS

FOTOROOM: The Swimmers—Searching for Identity in a Globalized World

Humble Art Foundation: #HAFLIFEZ IG Show

Huffington Post: Capturing A Lost Generation in Nothing but Their Bathing Suits

BIRD IN FLIGHT: Pilgrims: Rootless Generation in the Project of Carla Liesching

Mail & Guardian: An interrogation of post-colonial history and African artists on the rise: Toyin Odutola; Carla Liesching; Robin Rhode and Julie Mehretu

Between 10 and 5: Carla Liesching Adrift Between Here and Somewhere

Exposure: Artist Interview—Carla Liesching

C&. CONTEMPORARY AND: Kutlwano Moagi & Mack Magagane, Carla Liesching, Gabrielle Alberts & Emeka Ogboh

Fisheye: Carla Liesching

Rhodes University Press: Standing at the Shoreline

One Art—Art from Asia, Africa and Latin America: Carla Liesching

AFROKLECTIC: The Swimmers

Out & About Africa: The Swimmers

One Small Seed: Selected Creative

Africa is a Country: The Swimmers