Goethe-Institut Johannesburg is hosting an exhibition on the 8th of November by Ghanaian photographer Eric Gyamfi titled “Just Like Us: Constellations.”
This exhibition marks a progressive and self-reflective expansion of the “Just Like Us” series, both in medium and subject matter. Here at the Goethe Institut in Johannesburg, Gyamfi explores more deeply the contextual and material grounding of the project. The first iteration of “Just Like Us,” exhibited under the title “See You/See Me” at the Nubuke Foundation in Accra, elicited a great deal of reaction, particularly online. This reaction itself became a telling reflection of the state of discourse in Ghana surrounding queerness, and it inspired the artist to look for ways it could be folded back into the series and included in its display.
With research being a key part of Gyamfi’s artistic practice, it also became logical in this exhibition to rethink the normal conventions of photographic displays in order to gesture toward the many hours of audio recordings, reflective writings, and multiple outtakes that he conducts while constructing his work. To this end, this exhibition constructs constellations of photographs from the series, many of which have never been displayed, alongside found media material relevant to the topic of queer life in Ghana. The artist’s notes and other research materials are also included. This informal mode of exhibition is designed to pull the curtains back on Gyamfi’s artistic process and provide visitors a deeper look at the mechanics behind his important contribution to photography and queer discourses on the continent.
-Drew Snyder, Curator
Exhibition runs until 15 February.
Photo: Eric Gyamfi, Untitled from “Just Like Us,” 2016-17.