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The Field's Edge:
Africa, Diaspora, Lens

Monk of the German Trappist Mission directing the pose
Marianhill, Southern Africa c. 1895.

October 18 – December 21, 2002

The Field's Edge
is a multimedia exhibition that explores the relationship between contemporary art and colonial ethnography, most notably the legacy of colonial ethnography on readings of contemporary art from Africa and the Diaspora. The visual exploration of this often contested relationship between art and ethnography focuses on major themes around the politics of narrative and domestic life.

This exhibition title refers to the legacy of ethnographic "field" images in relation to images in contemporary photography and lens-based media that are used to investigate current and historical concepts of representation, agency, and body. The exhibition includes the work of Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons, Thembinkosi Goniwe, Teboho Mahlati, Odili Donald Odita, Colin Richards, Berni Searle, Lorna Simpson, Fatimah Tuggar and Carrie Mae Weems. The exhibition is guest curated for CAM by Rory Bester and Amanda Carlson.

Sponsored in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, Florida Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Arts Council, and the Rockefeller Foundation.

DOWNLOAD Exhibition Handout/Checklist PDF

Symposium: Discerning the Diaspora

"It's exceptional for several reasons; not just the compelling art, but because it introduces us to authentic images and attitudes by artists whose art speaks for them."

– Adrienne Golub, Weekly Planet art critic


Berni Searle
Still, 2000
Digital prints on backlit paper, flour