May 15, 2012 - July 23, 2012
Artist’s reception: Tuesday, May 15, 2012, 7:30 p.m.
At the airport on the way to La Paz, I read an article about the rapes and was determined to go to Manitoba, where the tragedy occurred. I wanted to find out how an isolated culture would deal with such an incident, especially when the rapes were by members of their own community.
- Lisa Wiltse
New York, NY—On May 15th, Lisa Wiltse’s photo exhibit of the Mennonites of Manitoba, Bolivia, will open at The Half King. Shot in December, 2009 on the very heels of the rapes scandal that horrified so many, “Bolivian Mennonites” looks at how an extremely insular, conservative society engenders, and turns away from, its own demons.
On opening night, Lisa and Anna Van Lenten, co-curator of The Half King’s photography series, will moderate a slideshow and discussion of Lisa’s work.
“The fascinating thing for me about Lisa’s Mennonites project is how it works on two levels,” says curator Anna Van Lenten. “On its own, it’s comprised of a set of endlessly compelling photos. But the images also resonate with the story behind them: serial rape crimes in what is meant to be a pure society. Her pictures are by turns contained and awkward, beautiful and off-kilter, straightforward and ominous.”
The Half King Photography Series is dedicated to showing exceptional documentary photography. In tandem with its reading series, it fosters a dialog between photographers and writers that underscores the importance of their relationship. Co-curating its photography series are James Price, photo editor at Newsweek, and Anna Van Lenten, writer and editor.
Lisa Wiltse was born in Connecticut and graduated from the Art Institute of Boston with a BFA in photography. From 2004-08 she worked as a staff photographer for the Sydney Morning Herald. In 2009 she moved to La Paz, Bolivia to pursue freelance work. She has traveled extensively, documenting everyday life in marginalized communities in such places as Bangladesh, Uganda, Philippines, Bolivia, New Zealand, and the U.S. Currently based in NYC, she is a contributor with Getty Reportage. “Bolivian Mennonites” is the first showing of this project in the U.S.