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Hay Tiempo, No Hay Tiempo
Exhibition 9 November 2018–31 January 2019
Installation photograph from the offsite exhibition ‘Hay Tiempo, No Hey Tiempo’ at the Centro Fotográfico Álvarez Bravo, Mexico. Jo Ratcliffe’s photographs ‘Wheelchair, Roque Santeiro market, Luanda’, ‘Donkey, Pomfret’ and ‘06: Ceres’ are hung on white washed walls at eye level around the gallery space.
Installation view: Hay Tiempo, No Hay Tiempo curated by Jo Ractliffe and Josh Ginsburg at Centro Fotográfico Álvarez Bravo, November 9, 2018–January 31, 2019. Image courtesy of A4 Arts Foundation.
Title Hay Tiempo, No Hay Tiempo Dates 9 November 2018–31 January 2019 Location Offsite Tagline An exhibition of work by Jo Ractliffe at the Centro Fotográfico Álvarez Bravo, Oaxaca, Mexico.
Curator Jo Ractliffe

Francisco Berzunza

Anthea Buys

Centro Fotográfico Álvarez Bravo

Hay Tiempo, No Hay Tiempo is the first solo exhibition in Latin America of the work of South African photographer Jo Ractliffe. The exhibition forms part of Crossing Night / Hacer Noche, a major project of Southern African arts in Oaxaca commissioned and curated by Francisco Berzunza.

Responding to Crossing Night / Hacer Noche's broad reflection on transition, transformation and the liminal in life and in death, Radcliffe's exhibition draws on a further two phenomena that connect it to Oaxaca. The first is the existing note above the door of Manuel Álvarez Bravo’s studio, which reads 'Hay Tiempo, Hay Tiempo' (There is Time, There is Time). The second is Álvarez Bravo's iconic photograph, Striking Worker, Assassinated (1934). Ractliffe purchased this image some ten years ago. It has hung on the wall of her studio ever since.

Curated collaboratively by Radcliffe and Josh Ginsburg, director of A4 Arts Foundation, the exhibition comprises works from over three decades of photographic investigation and exploration. Some images are well travelled and iconic of Ractliffe’s practice, while others have been printed for the first time.

Underpinning the process is Ractliffe’s idiosyncratic reflection on time, desire and loss. In this way, Hay Tiempo, No Hay Tiempo seeks a dynamic tension between two opposing provocations nascent in its title: on the one hand, a sense of urgency, of much still to be done; and on the other, a challenge to slow down, to take one’s time, to be still. 

The works presented are not anchored in time or place, nor are they bound by the larger bodies and essays from which they originated. This infuses the images with new agency; they are taken out of time, and find themselves in unexpected combinations and proximities.

"My first encounter with Manuel Álvarez Bravo’s photograph of the Striking Worker, Assassinated (1934) was in the early 1980s when I acquired a book on World Photography. It was an odd grouping of photographers whose work encompassed everything from fashion to medical science to war. But there was the Álvarez Bravo photograph, this dead man – such violence, such beauty! I was transfixed in that moment. The image now hangs on the wall in my studio; it fixes me still.

Three years ago, I suffered a spinal injury that altered my life. It also changed my work and the way I see things. For a time, this injury was at the forefront of everything. I felt mixed up with the dead. There are good things to be had there. But of course the real struggle inside is to untether the world of the dead from the world of the living, to make life anew, in this world.

When I first spoke with the curators, Francisco and Josh, my immediate thought was that this photograph of Manuel Álvarez Bravo’s would form the idea of this exhibition. Everything starts from there. The title itself comes from a note above the door of his studio: 'Hay Tiempo, Hay Tiempo' (There is Time, There is Time). The exhibition brings together a selection of photographs from the mid-1980s to 2018. Some are well-travelled, some are recently made, and some have been printed up here for the first time. Unhinged from their originating intentions and contexts, the images find themselves in new and perhaps unexpected proximities, not least, in this place, Oaxaca."

– Jo Ractliffe

Installation photograph from the 2018 rendition of ‘Parallel Play’ in A4’s Gallery. A moveable gallery wall is features the sketched layout of an exhibition space, with photographic prints from Jo Ractliffe’s archive pinned on top of it.
Installation view: Parallel Play, June 6, 2018–September 27, 2018. Image courtesy of A4 Arts Foundation.