Don’t miss the Cape Town launch of Terry Kurgan’s new book Everyone is Present (22 Nov)
More about the book!
Fourthwall Books and The Book Lounge invite you to the launch of Everyone is Present: Essays on Photography, Memory and Family by Terry Kurgan.
Kurgan will be in conversation with author and journalist Mark Gevisser about her exciting new book, which resists categorical distinctions, dynamically fusing text and image in a deeply imaginative way.
Date: Thursday, 22 November 2018
Venue: A4 Arts Foundation, Cape Town
About the book
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 grandfather’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.
About the author
Terry Kurgan is an artist and writer based in Johannesburg. 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.
Everyone is Present is a project by Terry Kurgan published by Fourthwall Books in association with Jacana Media and Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research, which is where she spent much happy time writing the book.