Invite : JOHANNESBURG LAUNCH | EVERYONE IS PRESENT BY TERRY KURGAN

Wednesday, 14 November, 2018 - 18:00

EVERYONE IS PRESENT: ESSAYS ON PHOTOGRAPHY, MEMORY AND FAMILY BY TERRY KURGAN

Fourthwall Books warmly invites you to join us at the launch of Everyone is Present: Essays on Photography, Memory and Family, by Terry Kurgan.

Terry will be in discussion with Professor Gerrit Olivier (Wits School of Arts).

DATE:           Wednesday, 14 November 2018
VENUE:        Love Books
                     Bamboo Centre, 53 Rustenburg Road, Melville, Johannesburg
TIME:           6.00 for 6.30 PM
RSVP:          kate@lovebooks.co.za

In this book, Kurgan begins with a family snapshot made by her Polish grandfather in 1939 on the eve of the war. Presenting this evocative image as a repository of multiple histories—public, private, domestic, familial and generational—she sets off on a series of meditations on photography that give us startling insights into how photographs work: what they conceal, how they mislead, what provocations they contain.

Each essay takes up the thread of the story of her family’s epic journey across Europe as they flee—country by country—Nazi occupation, until they reach Cape Town, South Africa. But Kurgan takes detours, circles back, diverts attention elsewhere, enriching and also disrupting the narrative with digressions on the way Google has changed our relationship to photography, on her grand-father’s eloquent daily journals, on the shipboard flirtations of her fascinating grandmother, on vanity, on self representation, on loss and return, home and exile. Kurgan’s richly satisfying essays are part memoir, part travelogue, part analysis and they demonstrate her sophisticated understanding of a medium that has long engaged her as an artist.

Kurgan has achieved something rare in this book: a truly dynamic fusion of text and image. She brings a deep knowledge of craft to everyday images, whether she’s teasing fugitive meanings from a creased pre-war snapshot or taking the pulse of an apparently impersonal digital image. The result is both a moving family memoir and an illuminating reflection on photography and memory.

Ivan Vladislavić, author of Portrait with Keys and Double Negative

Terry Kurgan is an artist and writer based in Johannesburg. Her work frequently explores the medium of photography. She has exhibited and published widely in South Africa and internationally, and received numerous grants and awards, including the FNB Vita Art prize and the inaugural Mbokoda Photography award. Her previous Books are Johannesburg Circa Now (co-edited with Jo Ractliffe) and Hotel Yeoville. Everyone is Present is her first work of creative non-fiction.

 

 

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