Our pick of books and exhibitions arriving in October

Limitless Africans

“I closed my eyes as the traditional priestess poured a basin of mysterious oils over me,” writes Mikael Owunna. “Stinging my body from head to toe, she repeated the motion several times to wash the ‘gay devil’ out of me.”

The Pittsburgh-based photographer was 18 years old, visiting Nigeria for Christmas, and it was his third exorcism in a period of just a few days. Back in the US, despite his academic achievements, he also felt like an outsider. “Rejected from white LGBT spaces and American society due to my blackness and immigrant status, and from African circles due to my sexuality, I was ‘unacceptable’ everywhere I turned.”

In 2013, the Swedish-Nigerian began a series of portrait photographs, Limit(less), “to reclaim my Africanness and queerness on my own terms”, documenting the experiences of LGBTQ African immigrants in North America and Europe. Now, launching for National Coming Out Day on 11 October, FotoEvidence has made it into a book.


Jihan, Brussels, Belgium, 2017, from Limitless Africans © Mikael Owunna.


Adam Jeppesen’s 487-day journey travelling from the North Pole to Antarctica left an indelible mark on both him and his photographs. When his negatives became exposed to the grit of the road, rather than hide these blemishes, he came to celebrate them as a reminder of memory and imperfection. Jeppesen and seven others, including Joanne Dugan, Timo Lieber and Chris McCaw, feature in Fundamentals, the latest show from London-based Black Box Projects.

Black Box Projects, London
08 – 19 October 2019

Top: © Adam Jeppesen. Bottom: © Liz Nielsen

I Came Apart at the Seams

Life-sized sculptures stand alongside photographic tableaux in which South African artist Mary Sibande plays out the journey of her alter ego, Sophie, from domestic maid to a post-apartheid reclamation of identity.

The title comes from Sibande’s latest series, which will be shown alongside two earlier works (Long Live the Dead Queen and The Purple Shall Govern) for the first time, and staged by Somerset House and 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair in London. The series serve as both a critique and response to stereotypical depictions of black women, addressing their position in recent South African history, and imagining a more powerful narrative for their lives today. The show opens during 1-54’s four- day run from 03-06 October, then continues at Somerset House’s Terrace Rooms until 05 January.

Somerset House, London
03 October 2019 – 05 January 2020

They Don’t Make Them Like They Used To, 2019 © Mary Sibande.

Borderland: Stories from Donbas

Through what was initially a trip to northern Ukraine in 2013 to find out more about his grandmother, who fled the country as a refugee after the Second World War, Christopher Nunn found himself well-placed to react to the growing political unrest in Kiev. His interest in the stories of the everyday lives of individuals, however, led him to document just that in the Donbas region, close to the border of Russia. Away from the epicentre of the active war zone, he gives an insight into the countryside mining villages and forgotten village pastimes of generations old and new.

“The Donbas is beautiful and brutal; a place of comedy and pain,” he explains. “Many times, I heard the tired line, ‘We do not live here, we just exist’. Most of my photographs are about simply existing.” After six years
of work, he is showing the series in his first major solo exhibition at Impressions Gallery, Bradford, from 04 October to 04 January.

Impressions Gallery, Bradford
04 October 2019 – 04 January 2020

Danylevskoho Street, Donetsk, May 2014 © Christopher Nunn. Courtesy of Impressions Gallery.

Impure Matter

Continuing his decade-long artistic investigation into globalisation – using
found materials to create photographs and sculptures in response to specific cross-cultural locations – Lorenzo Vitturi’s latest work, Caminantes, draws on his own family history. The inspiration comes from his Italian father, who set up a Murano glass factory in Peru in the 1960s, and met the artist’s mother. And the results – fusing elements collected from both territories – can be seen for the first time as part of Impure Matter, a retrospective of his work at Foam, 18 October to 19 January. 

Foam, Amsterdam
18 October 2019 – 19 January 2020

From the series Caminantes, 2019 © Lorenzo Vitturi.

I Will Greet the Sun Again

Taking its title from a poem by Forugh Farrokhzad, an Iranian poet and filmmaker whose works are celebrated (and were for many years banned) for their espousal of female independence, I Will Greet the Sun Again brings together a quarter century of Shirin Neshat’s video and photography at The Broad – downtown Los Angeles’ extraordinary, privately owned museum – from 19 October to 16 February.

The Broad, Los Angeles
19 October 2019 – 16 February 2010

Roja (Masses), from the series The Book of Kings, 2012 © Shirin Neshat. Courtesy of Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels.

Ludwig Windstosser

He became the leading industrial photographer of West Germany’s postwar era, and yet Ludwig Windstosser remains largely unknown today – even in his own country. An exhibition at Berlin’s Museum of Photography (12 October to 23 February) aims to change that, presenting 200 of his images, ranging from his work documenting the crucial role of Ruhrkohle AG’s mineworks in Germany’s economic upswing, to his illustrated books portraying the reconstruction of Berlin and his native Stuttgart.

Museum of Photography, Berlin
12 October 2019 – 23 February 2020

Mannesmann © Ludwig Windstosser/ State Museums Berlin, Art Library.