NAMSA LEUBA: CROSSED LOOKS | ITSLIQUID

NAMSA LEUBA: CROSSED LOOKS

Fashion | March 13, 2020 |

Halseyinstitute Charleston 010
Image courtesy of Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art

Namsa Leuba: Crossed Looks
Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, Charleston
August 28 – December 12, 2020

Crossed Looks will feature over 90 works from Namsa Leuba’s projects from Guinea, South Africa, Nigeria, and Benin, and it will premiere new work from Tahiti. The exhibition is organized by Nigeria-based curator Joseph Gergel. Namsa Leuba’s photographic projects encounter critical questions about the representation of the cultural Other, offering an alternative visual vocabulary that is inherently global.

Halseyinstitute Charleston 002
Image courtesy of Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art

Inspired by statues, masquerades, and the religious ceremonies of her West African heritage, as well as contemporary fashion and youth culture in Africa, Leuba’s photographs are fictive in scope. She often uses models that she informally casts in the street, who become active collaborators as subjects of the portraits. With a background in art direction, Leuba constructs costumes for her sitters from locally sourced markets, using materials including blankets, fur, wood, masks, and lace.

Halseyinstitute Charleston 003
Image courtesy of Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art

In re-enacting these cultural symbols for the camera, she examines the deconstruction and reconstruction of the body, as well as the shift in cultural meanings when symbols are alienated from their source. Leuba’s images are at once informed by the local traditions of the community and also imagined. Borrowing from her experience in fashion and design, they create a speculative dimension by adding a contemporary sartorial twist.

Halseyinstitute Charleston 004
Image courtesy of Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art

Leuba is influenced by the energy of cosmopolitan urban centers in Africa, translating this spirit into a unique visual language. At times this visual language veers into abstraction, an amalgamation of overlapping patterns, textures, and colors, each with their own cultural significance. Leuba’s work mirrors the visual codes of documentary photography and the photojournalistic lens on Africa, which so often reflects the process of exoticizing the Other.

Halseyinstitute Charleston 005
Image courtesy of Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art

Yet, in prioritizing fictions, her images subvert the notion of photographic truth. Leuba’s work questions the politics of the gaze-who is looking, who is being looked at, and the medium in which this looking occurs. Blending diverse traditions, the photographs challenge notions of authenticity of one blanket “African” identity. Influenced by her dual Guinean-Swiss heritage, Leuba examines her simultaneous place as an insider and outsider.

Halseyinstitute Charleston 006
Image courtesy of Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art

The title of this exhibition, Crossed Looks, references this diverse perspective. Through the adaptation of myths, Leuba’s photographs acknowledge this double act of looking, a cross-dialogue of global cultures. This exhibition is organized according to Namsa Leuba’s five major bodies of work produced over the past nine years, in Guinea, Benin, Nigeria, South Africa, and Tahiti, respectively.

Halseyinstitute Charleston 007
Image courtesy of Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art

Each body of work will be presented in the form of wall installations, with image groupings hung in clusters. The exhibition will also feature new experimentations with printing on nontraditional materials including porcelain, woven tapestry, and translucent silk. Exploring Leuba’s work in fashion photography, Crossed Looks will show how her diverse practices inform one another as they cross disciplines.

Halseyinstitute Charleston 008
Image courtesy of Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art

This exhibition will also debut Leuba’s most recent series, Illusions. Produced in Tahiti, Illusions is inspired by the paintings of Paul Gauguin and “tropical” images in Modern Art. This imagery, imbued with cultural stereotypes, casts the Polynesian woman as desirable, subservient, and connected to the natural environment. Leuba recasts these roles using transgender models, posing an ideological challenge to the visual codes initiated by Gauguin.

more. www.halsey.cofc.edu

Halseyinstitute Charleston 009
Image courtesy of Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art
Halseyinstitute Charleston 011
Image courtesy of Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art
Halseyinstitute Charleston 001
Image courtesy of Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art

Are you an artist, architect, designer? Would you like to be featured on ITSLIQUID platform? Send an e-mail to info@itsliquid.com or fill the form below






    RELATED POSTS


    BARBARA CHASE-RIBOUD: INFINITE FOLDS

    Art | November 29, 2022

    The first UK solo exhibition of artist, novelist and poet Barbara Chase-Riboud (b. 1939, Philadelphia, USA, lives and works in Paris), Barbara Chase-Riboud: Infinite Folds features a focussed selection of large-scale sculptures alongside works on paper dating from the 1960s to the present day. Read more


    AT THE DAWN OF A…

    Art | November 25, 2022

    The Whitney Museum of American Art presents At the Dawn of a New Age: Early Twentieth-Century American Modernism, an exhibition of over sixty works by more than forty-five artists that highlights the complexity of American art produced between 1900 and 1930. Read more


    WEAREANNU

    Fashion | November 22, 2022

    Weareannu is a collection of international designers, thinkers and makers who came together to make beautiful glasses consciously, with innovative manufacturing practices and a considerate approach to design. Read more


    CALL FOR ARTISTS: ROME INTERNATIONAL…

    Calls | November 22, 2022

    ROME INTERNATIONAL ART FAIR 2023 - 6th edition, organized by ITSLIQUID Group, will be held in Rome, at Medina Art Gallery from February 10 to February 24, 2023. ROME INTERNATIONAL ART FAIR 2023 provides artists and exhibitors with the unique opportunity to present their works to an international audience of professionals as curators, gallerists, collectors, editors and publishers who seek to acquire, publish and encourage the best contemporary art talents. Read more


    Sign up for our Newsletter.

    Enter your email to receive our latest updates!