Namsa Leuba: Crossed Looks


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Namsa Leuba and Joseph Gergel
Publication date:
27.5 x 21 cm
Namsa Leuba: Crossed Looks is the first artist monograph featuring the work of Swiss-Guinean artist Namsa Leuba. This publication accompanies the first solo exhibition of Namsa Leuba in the United States, at the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art in Charleston, South Carolina on August 27 – December 11, 2021. Crossed Looks features Leuba’s major projects to date, including photography series in Guinea, South Africa, Nigeria, 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 cross-dialogue of global cultures. The exhibition is supported by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and from Pro Helvetia. The publication features essays contributed by exhibition curator Joseph Gergel; writer and art critic Emmanuel Iduma; and art historian Dr. Mary Trent. These essays examine the nuanced themes of identity and representation in Leuba’s multiple bodies of work.

About the Author
Namsa Leuba (b. 1982) is a Swiss-Guinean photographer and art director. Leuba studied photography at ECAL, University of Art and Design in Lausanne, Switzerland, and obtained a Masters in Art Direction at ECAL. She has exhibited her artwork at the Guggenheim Bilbao, New Art Exchange (London), Hanger Art Center (Brussels), Øksnehallen (Copenhagen), Tate Modern (London), and MACAAL Marrakesh. She has also participated in festivals including Daegu Photo Biennale (Korea), Athens Photo Festival, Photoquai (Paris), and LagosPhoto (Nigeria). In 2019, Leuba will be featured in the exhibition The New Black Vanguard at Aperture in New York. Leuba is the recipient of numerous awards including FOAM Talent, Magenta Foundation Flash Forward Award, PhotoGlobal Prize, and the Planches Contact Prize. Her work has been commissioned by Nike and The New Yorker, and has been published in I-D, Numéro, KALEIDOSCOPE, Foam, Interview, Vice Magazine, New York Magazine, Wallpaper, and Libération.