Berni Searle
b. South Africa, 1964

By "branding" her body, Searle recalls 19th-century anthropometric photographs of natives and the unforgettable markings of Holocaust survivors. Of course, Searle's graphic markings are temporary, captured only by the lens's ability to preserve a moment in time. The translucency of these images emphasizes the impermanence of stereotypes and the complex layers of identity.

Originally trained as a sculptor, Searle now utilizes large-scale digital photographic prints and combines them with found materials to make compelling installations. Searle's works focus primarily on narratives of gender, race and memory as they have been configured in apartheid and post-apartheid South Africa. Like a number of contemporary artists working in lens-based media and digital technology, her works are often autobiographical and challenge the viewer to confront his or her own role as voyeur of the demarcated "Othered" body.

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Digital lambda prints
Collection of the artist,
courtesy Seippel Gallery

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Ghada Amer Berry Bickle Willem Boshoff
Fathi Hassan Rachid Koraichi Berni Searle