South African photographer Katharine Cooper (1978, Grahamstown, South Africa) is known for identifying with her subjects and works in the space between representation and expression, opposing the 'objective' documentary photographer. From October 2015 on Cooper made several journeys to Syria and Iraqi Kurdistan with the support of SOS Chrétiens d'Orient, a young French organisation which works to rehabilitate the Middle Eastern populations affected by the war. A selection of her work from the Middle East has been selected for the exhibition 'Chrétiens d'Orient. Deux mille ans d'histoire' at the Institut du monde arabe in Paris from 26 septembre 2017 till 14 janvier 2018.Read More
Originally from Grahamstown (in the Eastern Cape of South Africa), Katharine Cooper (1978), left her native country in 1986 to settle in Zimbabwe. In Harare, she went to school with the Dominican sisters and started learning photography from her journalist father, using his Nikkormat at first before progressing to a Leica M4 and the Hasselblad 500c medium format camera she continues to use today. At the age of nineteen, she left Africa to do a B.A Honours Photography at the Nottingham Trent University in the United Kingdom. In 2000 she moved to Arles where she graduated in 2004 with honours from the renowned Ecole Nationale Supérieure de la Photographie d'Arles (ENSP). Between 2005 and 2016 Cooper made many visits back to Africa, mainly to Zimbabwe, Mozambique and South Africa. In this period she also worked as the darkroom printer for the late photographer Lucien Clergue (and co-founder of the Rencontres d'Arles photography festival in Arles).
Cooper's work has been exhibited at the Institut du monde arabe in Paris; MUba Eugène Leroy, Turcoing; L'Académie des beaux-arts, Paris au Palais de l'Institut de France, Paris; Castello di Lerici, Italy; Chapelle Sainte Anne, Arles; ENSASE, Saint Etienne; Gemeentemuseum Helmond, Netherlands; Chapelle St Louis at Les Invalides, Paris. She was part of the show 'Photographers Night. The voice of cameramen and woman' that included Jeroen Robert Kramer, Desiree Dolron and Martin Usborne in 2017 and the large groupshow at the gallery 'Hunting: the world of intense concentration', with Martin Parr in 2014. That year she did a duo presentation with Jaap Scheeren in the gallery, ' White Africans & This spot might mean shit to you, but is the world to me'.
Text courtesy FLATLAND.
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