• Guy Tillim

    The Photographers' Gallery

    In this show documenting colonial devastation, one photograph stood out for its optimism. Entitled Residents of Goma salute Laurent Kabila after his army’s takeover of the city from Mobutu’s troops, 1997, it depicts an urban plaza swarming with cheering people. This photograph—the axis around which the show turns—captures an ecstatic moment of frenzied energy between dark passages of Congolese history: the joyous end of the dictatorial command of Mobutu Sese Seko, vicious inheritor of the colonial rule of Belgium’s King Leopold II, but also the commencement of the country’s splintering

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  • Veronica Bailey

    The Blue Gallery

    Sometimes the most apparently straightforward view turns out to be the most oblique. Such was the case with “2 Willow Road,” Veronica Bailey’s previous show, in which she presented a series of photographs of books from the library of modernist architect Erno Goldfinger that showed only the unopened volumes’ edges. Projecting an absolute blankness, Bailey’s crisp and detailed images, which lent the books an uncanny presence, conjured an occult form of reading, a sort of fingertip divination. Of course this reading, like any other, requires a title as its starting point, and Bailey provided the

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