Anthony Morton, Ray Franz

The Place of Shade

The Place of Shade is an artistic research inquiry into the contemporary wake of the Norwegian presence in South Africa. Norwegians began operating within the British colonial framework around 1840—the same period as the migration to America. Lutheran missions, whaling, farming, business and family characterise this almost 200-year Afri-Norge diasporic heritage. It has been almost entirely overlooked in visual culture, until now. Their legacy remains an integral component of the city and the province's socio-cultural fabric to this day.

This exposition is just one expression within the broader scope of this ongoing project. Here, we on the one hand reflect on our preliminary research, methodology and fieldwork from a fictional standpoint â€” a kind of meta-methodological reflection â€” and, on the other hand, we address our Afri-Norge subject matter head-on. To achieve this, we narrate Ray Franz and Anthony Morton’s part in the initial fieldwork through the fictionalised perspectives of two PhD students at The University of Bergen — Vincent Dibble (RSA) and Bjarne Karlsen (NOR) — who leave their shared office to undertake an expedition which parallels ours, travelling to KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. This journey is set in the penumbra of the seismic socio-political events of 1999: The Truth and Reconciliation Commission, The South African Arms Deal, Case no. 4138/98, and the looming global spectre of Y2K. Dibble, an occidental eschatologist and accidental apocalypse-hunter. Bjarne, a philosophical cosmologist and photography enthusiast. 

This exposition is imagined as the pair's pin board, suspended upon the expanse of their office wall upon returning to Norway. Behind them it hangs, a silent curation of fever dreams, as they weave theses into existence, their gaze drawn through the window onto the sprawling canvas of Bergen's cityscape.


Anthony Morton is an artistic researcher based in Bergen, Norway. Morton’s work has been exhibited at a variety of art institutions in China, Norway, and South Africa. Morton studied contemporary art and philosophy in Japan, South Africa, and Norway. He was awarded an MA in Contemporary Art (2019) and an MA in Philosophy (2023) from the University of Bergen. Morton makes images that tell a story of exploration with a philosophical foundation. Here, forms cite a multitude of departures; an endeavour of the helmsmanship of space, where images are becoming and have left the scent of seared steak.

Ray Franz is a writer, visual artist and musician based in Durban, South Africa and London, England. His creative practice is centred on the legitimisation of fractured identities in a post-colonial context. This exposition contains extracts from his literary work based upon the research conducted in The Place of Shade. His work has informed the literary, research, narratological, and design aspects of the project. The initial short stories in his forthcoming collection 'Myopia' have featured in ‘New Contrast Literary Magazine’, ‘Kinda Weird Magazine’, and ‘A Thousand Word Photos’ respectively.