Two Men Arrive in a Village, volume five of The Gould Collection, pairs 49 photographs by Jo Ractliffe with British writer Zadie Smith’s story of the same title.
'The photographs by Ractliffe in this volume were made between 1985 and 2019, and come from many places: South Africa, from the Great Karoo to Gauteng and Limpopo provinces, to Zimbabwe in the north, and from the Western Cape, up the coast to Namibia and Angola. The dialogue between Ractliffe’s images and Smith’s parable is simultaneously a forthright and subtle commentary on injustice and imbalances of power. Together, they work to displace familiar narratives of violence and unsettle clichéd depictions of Africa in favour of a more nuanced interplay between the real and allegorical.'
The Gould Collection is a series of books that brings together contemporary photographers with writers, published in memory of Christophe Crison, a photobook collector from Paris who died prematurely in 2015. The book is beautifully printed and bound, with exposed Swiss binding in dust jacket and belly band; text in English and Japanese.