Leora Farber is a Johannesburg-based artist, academic, writer, curator and editor, with an extensive exhibitions and publications history. She graduated with a BA Fine Art (University of the Witwatersrand, 1985); MA Fine Art (Cum Laude) (University of the Witwatersrand, 1992) and DPhil Visual Art (Creative Production) (University of Pretoria, 2013). She is Associate Professor in the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture (FADA), University of Johannesburg, and Director of the Visual Identities in Art and Design Research Centre in FADA. In her current creative praxis, she works at the interface between art and the life sciences, engaging critically, theoretically, affectively and poetically with ‘creative bio-research’: the fusion of biology, biotechnology, life sciences and visual art (‘bioart’). Bioart involves practices that deal with hands-on application of the life sciences or biotechnologies in an artmaking context, using living and non/living matter as media. Farber’s work has been exhibited in all of South Africa’s major public museums; she has presented solo exhibitions in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Perth; and has participated on group shows in London, New York, Taipei, Latvia and Atlanta.
Farber has published articles in academic journals such as Critical Arts, Image & Text, Visual Arts Review and Textile, and has presented papers at national and international conferences, often as an invited keynote speaker. She has edited four volumes: Johannesburg and megacity phenomena (Johannesburg: VIAD, 2008); Imaging ourselves: visual identities in representation (Johannesburg: VIAD, 2009); On making: integrating approaches to practice-led research in art and design (Johannesburg: VIAD, 2010); Critical Addresses. The Archive in Practice (Johannesburg: VIAD, 2016), and is co-editor of The Imagined New. Or, what happens when history is a Catastrophe? Volume 1. Working through Alternative Archives. Art, History and the African Diaspora. Johannesburg/Berlin: Iwalewa Publishers, 2020. She has guest-edited four special editions of Image & Text and Critical Arts respectively. Her work is represented in numerous South African collections, including the Sanlam Corporate Collection; Unisa University Collection, as well as the Johannesburg Art Gallery and Tatham Art Gallery collections. Farber has been the recipient of multiple grants from funding bodies such as the South African National Research Foundation, The Ernest Oppenheim Trust and the South African National Arts Council. She completed a 5-month residency at the SymbioticA Centre of Excellence in Biological Art, School of Anatomy and Human Biology, University of Western Australia (2019-2020), and a 3-month residency at the Gasworks Artists’ Studios, The Oval, London (1996-7). She was Artist in Residence: Spring Semester. Dept. of Art and Architecture, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN (2008).
www.leorafarber.com (2019 onwards)
www.leorafarber.co.za (1994 – 2019)