Copyright 2007-2012
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Leah Gordon (born 1959 Ellesmere Port) is a photographer, film-maker, curator, collector and writer. In the 1980's she wrote lyrics, sang and played for the feminist folk punk band, 'The Doonicans'. Leah makes work on Modernism and architecture; the slave trade and industrialisation; and grassroots religious, class and folk histories. Gordon’s film and photographic work has been exhibited internationally including the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney; the Dak’art Biennale; the National Portrait Gallery, UK and NSU Museum of Art, Fort Lauderdale. Her photography book 'Kanaval: Vodou, Politics and Revolution on the Streets of Haiti' was published in June 2010. She is the co-director of the Ghetto Biennale in Port-au-Prince, Haiti; was a curator for the Haitian Pavilion at the 54th Venice Biennale; was the co-curator of ‘Kafou: Haiti, History & Art’ at Nottingham Contemporary, UK; on the curatorial team for ‘In Extremis: Death and Life in 21st Century Haitian Art’ at the Fowler Museum, UCLA and is the co-curator of 'PÒTOPRENS: The Urban Artists of Port-au-Prince' at the Pioneer Works in 2018. In 2015 Leah Gordon was the recipient of the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Travel Award for Central America and the Caribbean.


Selected Exhibitions as Artist

The Body Says: I am a Fiesta, Norton Museum of Art, FL, USA
Format Festival19, Derby, UK

Out of the Whirlwind’s Radiance, 50 GOLBORNE, London
Vernacular Universalism: Freemasonry in Haiti, The Clemente Center, NY NY, USA
Haiti Aqui, Fundacion Casa Cortes, Puerto Rico
Bordering the Imaginary, BRIC Cultural Center, Brooklyn, USA

Hierophant, Nicodim Gallery, Bucharest, Romania
The Tailors of Port-au-Prince, Side Gallery, Newcastle, UK
Chita Tann, with Andre Eugene, Havre Magasinet Museum, Boden, Sweden

Atlas [of the ruins] of Europe, CentroCentro Cibeles de Cultura Ciudadania, Madrid

From Within and Without: The History of Haitian Photography, MOA|FL Museum of Art, Fort Lauderdale, USA
Meeting Point, Kunstverein Konstanz, Germany

11ème Biennale de l’Art Africain Contemporain, Dak'art 2014, Senegal
Les Rencontres Photographiques de Guyane, French Guiana
Alles Maskerade! MEWO Kunsthalle, Memmingen, Germany
Ort Gallery, Birmingham, UK (Solo Show)
HOUSE 2014, Regency House, Brighton, UK
Médiathèque Intercommunale André Labarrère, Pau, France (Solo Show)
It’s Folk, Let’s Dance, 99 Mary St, Sheffield, UK

Kanaval, PHI Centre, Montreal, Canada (Solo Show)

Taboo, Museum of Contemporary Arts, Sydney
Kanaval, New Art Exchange, Nottingham (Solo Show)
Caste, Riflemaker Gallery, London (Solo Show)

Kanaval, Side Gallery, Newcastle, UK (Solo Show)

The Invisibles, Riflemaker Gallery, London (Solo Show)

Kanaval, Photofusion, London (Solo Show)
Kreyol Factory, Parc de la Villette, Paris

Selected Exhibitions as Curator

PÒTOPRENS | The Urban Artists of Port-au-Prince, (co-curating with Edouard Duval-Carrie) at Pioneer Works, Red Hook, Brooklyn, NY NY

5th Ghetto Biennale 2017 - A Cartography of Port-au-Prince

Guest Curator at the Outsider Art Fair NYC, Metropolitan Pavilion, NYC

4th Ghetto Biennale 2015 - KREYÒL, VODOU and the LAKOU : forms of resistance, Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

3rd Ghetto Biennale 2013: Decentering the Market and Other Tales of Progress, Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Toward a Creole Procession, (co-curated with Ranu Mukherjee) in collaboration with CCA at Luggage Store, San Francisco

Kafou: Haiti, Art and Vodou, (co-curated with Alex Farquharson), at the Nottingham Contemporary, UK
In Extremis, (on curatorial team) at Fowler Museum, UCLA, Los Angeles & Musee de la Civilisation, Quebec City, Canada.

The 2nd Ghetto Biennale, Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
Death & Fertility, adjunct curator, Haitian Pavilion at 54th Venice Biennale
Nouvo Rezistans, Institut Français, Port-au-Prince, Haiti

1st Ghetto Biennale, director and co-curator, Port-au-Prince, Haiti

Curator for sculpture commission for the International Museum of Slavery, Liverpool.

Selected Publications

Nanne Buurman, Sarah Dornhof, Birgit Hopfener & Barbara Lutz, (eds.), Situating Global Art : Topologies – Temporalities – Trajectories (Transcript 2018)
Leah Gordon, A Legacy of Abstruse Laws: Haitian Cultural Abstraction and the Paintings of Tomm El-Saieh, (ICA Miami 2018)

Leah Gordon (ed.), Ghetto Biennale | Geto Byenal 2009-2015, (No Eraser Publishing 2017)

Natasha Hoare & Rafal Niemojewski (ed.s), The New Curator, (Laurence King Publishing 2016)

M. Attah, B. Burbridge & C. Davies (ed.s), Self Styled, (Photoworks Annual Issue 23 2016)

Claire Tancons & Krista Thompson (ed.s), EN MAS’: Carnival and Performance Art of the Caribbean, (Independent Curators International (ICI) and the Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans 2015)

Barbara Lynes (ed.), From Within and Without: The History of Haitian Photography, (NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale, USA 2015)

David Bindman (ed), The Image of the Black in Western Art, Volume 5 Part 1, The Twentieth Century: the Impact of Africa, (Harvard University Press 2014)

Dr. Stephanie Dathe & Dr. Axel Lapp (ed.s), Alles Maskerade!, (Museum Villa Rot & MEWO Kunsthalle 2014)

Brook Andrews (ed), Taboo, (Museum of Contemporary Art, Australia 2013)

Alex Farquharson & Leah Gordon (ed.s) 'Kafou: Haiti, Art and Vodou', (Nottingham Contemporary 2012)

Don Cosentino (ed.) 'In Extremis: Death & Life in 21st Century Haitian Art' (Fowler Museum, UCLA & University of Washington Press)

Leah Gordon, Kanaval: Vodou, Politics and Revolution on the Streets of Haiti, (Soul Jazz Publishing 2010)

Research, Production Grants & Awards

Invited for Artist residency at Hangar: Centre of Artistic Research, Lisbon funded by the Triangle Network
Recipient of the 2015 Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Travel Award for Central America and the Caribbean
HOUSE festival commission for the project Caste | Cast at Regency Town House, Brighton
Recipient of Research Institute for Media Art and Design (University of Bedfordshire) award for the Independent Curators International Curatorial Intensive in New York

Speaking Engagements

Afro-Gothic, Pioneer Works, Red Hook, Brooklyn, NY NY
Gruselkabinett - Kleist In Haiti, Kleist Festival, Frankfurt Oder, Germany
Art of Haiti: 1940s to the present at College Art Association, Los Angeles Convention Centre, Los Angeles
Black Mirror: Magic in Art, Arts University Bournemouth, UK

Catalogues, Culture and Structural Adjustment, Ruskin School of Fine Art, Oxford

Leah Gordon | Alternative Strategies in the Caribbean at ICI Curatorial Hub, NYC
Artist Talk, Havremagasinet, Boden, Sweden

First International ICOM Dominican Republic: Museums for a Sustainable Society, Museo Memorial de la Resistencia Dominicana, Ciudad Colonial, Santo Domingo
After Revolution: Versions and Re-visions of Haiti, Institute for Black Atlantic Research, University of Central Lancashire, Preston
Artist Talk, Trampolinhuset, Copenhagen
Ghetto Biennale at Udstillingsstedet Q, Royal Academy Fine Art, Copenhagen
Intervolved Histories at Uncertain States Critical Visual Dialogues

Biennials: Prospect and Perspectives, ZKM | Center for Art and Media, Karlsruhe, Germany
Alternative Methods: Art and Education, Futurecamp, Wysing Arts Centre, Cambridge
Perspectives: Barbara Kruger, Modern Art Oxford, UK
Transcultural Trajectories of Art History: Legacies of Modernity and Global Entanglements, Internationales Wissenschaftsforum Heidelberg, Germany
Collecting Geographies Conference, Global Collaborations, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam
Communities in Conversation, Konsthall C, Stockholm, Sweden
Artists’ Talk, Konsthallen Goteborg, Sweden
Artists’ Talk, Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw
Artists’ Talk, Centre of Contemporary Art, Derry-Londonderry
The Tailors of Port-au-Prince at the Newcastle Photography Festival

‘The Ghetto Biennale’, Open School East, London
‘In Conversation’ with Michaelle Jean, ex Governor General of Canada, PHI Center, Montreal
‘Battle of Images’ invited speaker at CIC (Contemporary Image Collective), Cairo, Egypt

International Congress on Global art, visuality and coloniality, invited speaker, Centro dos de Mayo, Madrid
TrAIN lecture, Chelsea College of Art, London

'Global art education and the Biennale aesthetic', Soundings, 54th Venice Biennale, Italy
Artists’ Talk, SF Camerawork, San Francisco, USA

Opening Forum of the 17th Sydney Biennale: Power, Poverty, Equality and Freedom (and how we relate to art...), invited speaker, Art Museum of NSW, Sydney:

‘In Conversation’ at Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris.


Visiting artist, MFA in Social Practice, California College for the Arts, San Francisco
2011 – 2013
Senior Lecturer in Photography & Video Art at University of Bedfordshire
2003 – ongoing
University of the Creative Arts, Farnham: Visiting lecturer for BA Digital, Film and Screen Arts
Visiting artist, MA in Photographic Arts, Paris 8, St Denis, Paris
California College of the Arts, San Francisco for lecture programme and as visiting artist for MFA in Social Practice.
Visiting artist, Dept. of Afro-American Studies at Bates College, Maine, USA.

Selected filmography and screenings

Ti Tonton Bat Tanbou (Little Uncle Plays the Drums) by Eugene Andre, Leah Gordon & Evel Romain 2018
The split screen film is an artistic gesture towards the transcendence of the borderline, and a transnational Hispaniolan sensibility.
Bordering the Imaginary, BRIC Cultural Center, Brooklyn, USA

Atis-Rezistans: the Sculptors of Grand Rue: Leah Gordon 2008
DV 34 mins film essay documenting a collective of majority class Vodou artists in Port au Prince, Haiti and a meditation on the links between sex, death and creativity.
Musée de la Civilisation, Québec, Canada (in exhibition)
Museum of Contemporary Arts, Sydney, Australia (in exhibition)
Fowler Museum, UCLA, Los Angeles, USA (in exhibition)
Kafou, Nottingham Contemporary, UK (in exhibition)
Musee de l'Homme, Paris, France
World Nomads Film Festival, curated by Jonathan Demme, Mayles Documentary Theatre, Harlem
Mercredis, Musee de l'Homme, Paris
Puerto Rico Ethnographic Film Festival (prize winner)
Afro-American Studies Society, Bates College, Maine USA
Caribbean Studies Conference, Edinburgh

Bounda pa Bounda: A Drag Zaka; Leah Gordon 2008
DV video observational film that documents Bounda pa Bounda (Cheek by Arse), a character from Jacmel carnival, as he drags up in a sacred space before going onto the streets with his Rara band.
Médiathèque Intercommunale André Labarrère, Pau, France
Les Rencontres Photographiques de Guyane, French Guiana
Museum of Contemporary Arts, Sydney (in exhibition)
Nottingham Contemporary
Side Gallery, Newcastle (in exhibition)
Photofusion Gallery, London (in exhibition)

The Thames Leah Gordon 2005
DV 14 mins Poetic film essay exploring the mythology of rivers and the link between the Thames and the Slave Trade
Zanzibar International Film Festival 2005
Jakmel Film Festival, Haiti 2005


1980-1983 BA Hons in Film & Photographic Arts from Polytechnic of Central London
2004-2006MA in Photographic Studies from University of Westminster