Carla Liesching

Carla Liesching is an interdisciplinary artist working across photography, writing, collage, sculpture, bookmaking, and design. Grounded in experiences growing up in apartheid South Africa, she considers the intersections of representation, knowledge, and power, with a focus on colonial histories and enduring constructions of race and geography.

Liesching's ongoing project, Good Hope, was published by MACK in November 2021, and it was shortlisted for the 2022 Aperture Paris Photo First Book Award and
the Arles 2022 Prix du Livre in the photo-text category. An excerpt from Good Hope is also featured in On Whiteness, by SPBH Editions. She was a 2021 winner of the Open Walls Arles competition presented by The British Journal of Photography and exhibited work during the 2021 and 2022 Rencontres d’Arles Festival. She is a 2021 Light Work Grant recipient and is the 2022 recipient of the Silver Eye Fellowship, culminating in a photo-sculptural installation at Silver Eye Center for Photography in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Liesching was recently named a 2022 Foam Talent, with upcoming exhibitions at Foam Museum in Amsterdam, the Deutsche Börse Foundation in Frankfurt, along with a solo exhibition of Good Hope at PhMuseum in Bologna, Italy. She lives between South Africa and Ithaca, New York, where she works as a Visiting Critic in Cornell University's Department of Art; as a Lecturer in the Department of Art, Art History, and Architecture at Ithaca College; as faculty at the International Center of Photography; and as coordinator of Cornell's School of Criticism and Theory. As part of her socially engaged practice, Liesching is also a youth educator focused on image-making, visual literacy, and self-publishing as vehicles for expression and empowerment.

Academic Research/Specialty Areas

  • Collaborative practice
  • Digital media
  • Installation art
  • Interdisciplinary art
  • Photography
  • Print media
  • Sculpture
  • Technology and art
  • Visual representation
  • Anti-colonial struggles in South Africa
  • Politics and ethics of photography
  • Intersections of visual representation
  • Knowledge and power

Related News

Classes (Selected)

  • Art 1601 Photography for Non-Majors

Awards, Grants, and Fellowships (Selected)

  • Aperture Paris Photo First Book Award, shorlist (2022)
  • Rencontres d'Arles Prix du Livre, photo-text category, shortlist (2022)
  • Foam Talent, Amsterdam, NL (2022)
  • Silver Eye Fellowship Winner, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (2022)
  • Light Work Grant Winner in Photography, Syracuse, New York (2021)

Exhibitions and Presentations (Selected)

  • Good Hope (solo exhibition), PhMuseum, Bologna, Italy (2022)
  • Foam Talent (group exhibition), Foam Museum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands and the Deutche Börse Photography Foundation, Frankfurt, Germany (2022–23)
  • Aperture Paris Photo Book Award Touring Exhibition, Paris, New York, Seoul, + additional locations (2022–23)

Publications (Selected)

  • Liesching, Carla. Good Hope. London: Mack Books, 2021.
  • Berlant, Lauren, Sadhana Bery, Daniel Borzutsky, Jane Caflisch, Jeff Chang, Aruna D'Souza, Lori Gruen, et. al. On Whiteness: The Racial Imaginary Institute. London: SPBH Editions, 2022. 
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