This article was originally published on Domus 1036, June 2019.
If urban growth is a key factor in social development today, can we still speak of a frontier? Rapidly growing countries suggest we can. Just 45 years since Robert Adams’s seminal work in the west of the United States, Leah Kennedy shifts the physical and conceptual boundaries of the New West to Namibia. Here, overflying the new periphery of one of the country’s most populous towns, the Australian photographer sets her version of a myth: that of the borderlands, anthropologically and iconographically impossible to curb. A boundary not only between city and desert, untamed lands and supposed civilisation, adversity and persistence, but also between what can be represented and what our mind reconstructs: potentially endless extension, heightened by diagonal vanishing points and the limits of the image itself, of our spirit of colonisation.