London

Liz Johnson Artur, Women’s Corner, 2019, mixed media, dimensions variable.

Liz Johnson Artur, Women’s Corner, 2019, mixed media, dimensions variable.

Liz Johnson Artur

South London Gallery

Over the past three decades, photographer Liz Johnson Artur has been amassing a body of work she calls the “Black Balloon Archive,” ca. 1991–, focused on the African diaspora. The Russian-Ghanaian artist’s first UK solo show, “If you know the beginning, the end is no trouble,” focused on London, with a particular emphasis on the South London area of Peckham, home to a large black population. The installation raised questions around the relationship between art and social life in a context of urban gentrification. While the density of interactions on offer seemed emblematic of the city at large, one could sense a tension between the general drive toward fetishism in ethnographic work and the resistant force of marginalized life in all its aesthetic beauty.

The exhibition was split into four sections by scaffold-like bamboo structures, housed in one large, airy room. It began with a section

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and receive the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the November 2019 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.