Jo Ractliffe

Ractliffe was born in 1961 in Cape Town and lives there.

Jo Ractliffe: Drives, the first US survey of the photographer’s work, took place at the Art Institute of Chicago (2020/21). Other recent solo exhibitions include Signs of Life, Stevenson, Cape Town (2019); Hay Tiempo, No Hay Tiempo, Centro Fotográfico Álvarez Bravo, as part of Hacer Noche, Oaxaca (2018); Everything is Everything, Stevenson, Johannesburg (2017); After War, Fondation A Stichting and Galerie de l’erg, Brussels (2015); The Aftermath of Conflict: Jo Ractliffe's Photographs of Angola and South Africa, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2015); Someone Else's Country, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Massachusetts (2014); and The Borderlands, Stevenson, Cape Town (2013).

Notable group exhibitions include À toi appartient le regard et (...) la liaison infinie entre les choses, Musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac, Paris (2020);  More for Less, A4 Arts Foundation, Cape Town (2018); Light in Wartime, apexart, New York (2018); A Short History of South African Photography, Fotografia Europea (2017); Sea Views, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam (2017); Gestures and Archives of the Present, Genealogies of the Future, 10th Taipei Biennial (2016); Things Fall Apart, Vera and Donald Blinken Open Society Archives, Budapest (2017); Calvert 22, London, and other venues (2016); Conflict, Time, Photography, Tate Modern, London (2015); Public Intimacy: Art and Other Ordinary Acts in South Africa, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco (2014); Apartheid and After, Huis Marseille, Amsterdam (2014); Distance and Desire: Encounters with the African Archive, Walther Collection, Ulm (2013); Making History, Museum Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt (2012); Rise and Fall of Apartheid: Photography and the Bureaucracy of Everyday Life, International Centre of Photography, New York (2012); Appropriated Landscapes, Walther Collection, Ulm (2011); Topography of War, Le Bal, Paris (2011); Events of the Self: Portraiture and Social Identity, Walther Collection, Ulm (2010); 7th Gwangju Biennale, Korea (2008); Snap Judgments: New Positions in Contemporary African Photography, International Centre for Photography, New York, and other venues (2006-8); and The Unhomely: Phantom Scenes in Global Society, 2nd International Biennial of Contemporary Art (Biacs 2), Seville (2006).

Ractliffe has held fellowships with the Centre for Curating the Archive, University of Cape Town (2014); Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research, Johannesburg (2010); Ampersand Foundation, New York (2008); Christian Merian Stiftung fellowship at iaab studios, Basel, Switzerland (2001); and the Ecole Cantonale d'Art du Vallais fellowship in Sierre, Switzerland (2001). She was one of four artists shortlisted for the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize (2022) and was nominated for the Discovery Prize at the Rencontres d'Arles photography festival (2011).

Her photo-books include Being There (2022), Photographs: 1980s – Now (2020), Signs of Life (2019), Everything is Everything (2017), The Borderlands (2015), As Terras do Fim do Mundo (2010) and Terreno Ocupado (2008). As Terras do Fim do Mundo was shortlisted in the category of 'Best Photobook of 2010' at the International Photobook Festival in Kassel (2011).

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