Powerful, vividly chromatic portraits of African identity and the Western fantasy of cultural otherness.
Accompanying the first solo exhibition of Swiss Guinean artist Namsa Leuba (born 1982) in the United States, Crossed Looksfeatures Leuba’s major projects to date, including photography series in Guinea, South Africa, Nigeria and Benin, and the debut of a new series recently made in Tahiti.
The exhibition and publication consider how Leuba’s photographic practice explores the representation of African identity and the cultural Other in the Western imagination. Over 90 photographs inspired by the visual culture and ceremonies of West Africa, contemporary fashion and design, and the history of photography and its colonizing gaze present Leuba’s unique perspective that straddles reality and fantasy. Through the adaptation of myths attributed to the Other, Leuba’s photographs acknowledge this double act of looking, a dialogue of global cultures. The essays included in the book examine the nuanced themes of identity and representation in Leuba’s multiple bodies of work.