Exhibitions

Man maintaining the lawn of the Monumento de Agostinho Neto, 2007

Jo Ractliffe
From the 'Terreno Ocupado' series
© Jo Ractliffe. Courtesy of Stevenson, Cape Town and Johannesburg

Someone Else's Country, Photographs by Jo Ractliffe

On view October 11, 2014 to March 15, 2015

Located in the: Special Exhibition Galleries

Photographer Jo Ractliffe (b. 1961) has spent the better part of the last decade photographing the effects of the prolonged civil war in Angola (1975-2002), both in the country itself and in her native South Africa. From the capital city of Luanda to the former battlefields where mines and disused military installations litter the landscape, the artist explores the poignant, humane and occasionally surreal vestiges of violence past, and examines the lives of the people and animals who now inhabit the land. Recently the artist has been photographing in South Africa itself, where encampments and mining facilities helped sustain that country's involvement in the war. Now largely decommissioned, these installations have become curious features of the landscape.

Someone Else's Country brings together a selection of Ractliffe's haunting black and white photographs inspired by the Angolan conflict. Beautiful and evocative, her work raises questions not just about the war, but also about the triumph and folly of human endeavor, showing us history on a human scale. 

Support provided by the East India Marine Associates of the Peabody Essex Museum.

 

Images

Jo Ractliffe, Roadside stall on the way to Viana, 2007.

Jo Ractliffe, Roadside stall on the way to Viana, 2007.

From the 'Terreno Ocupado' series. © Jo Ractliffe. Courtesy of Stevenson, Cape Town and Johannesburg.

Jo Ractliffe, On the road to Jamba, 2010.

Jo Ractliffe, On the road to Jamba, 2010.

From the 'As Terras do Fim do Mundo' series. © Jo Ractliffe. Courtesy of Stevenson, Cape Town and Johannesburg.

Jo Ractliffe, Woman minding pigs, Roque Santeiro market, 2007.

Jo Ractliffe, Woman minding pigs, Roque Santeiro market, 2007.

From the 'Terreno Ocupado' series. © Jo Ractliffe. Courtesy of Stevenson, Cape Town and Johannesburg.

Man maintaining the lawn of the Monumento de Agostinho Neto, 2007

Man maintaining the lawn of the Monumento de Agostinho Neto, 2007

Jo Ractliffe
From the 'Terreno Ocupado' series
© Jo Ractliffe. Courtesy of Stevenson, Cape Town and Johannesburg

Further Reading