Huis Marseille

Apartheid and After

15 Mar - 08 Jun 2014

Petros Village
Guy Tillim, Malawi, 2006
courtesy Stevenson, Cape Town & Johannesburg
15 March - 8 June 2014

David Goldblatt met Paul Alberts, Pieter Hugo, Santu Mofokeng, Sabelo Mlangeni, Zanele Muholi, Jo Ractliffe, Michael Subotzky, Guy Tillim, Graeme Williams and others, and the Market Photo Workshop in Johannesburg

The scars left in South Africa’s collective memory by its apartheid regime were also inscribed visually on its collective retina. There is less consensus, however, on the period of ‘truth and reconciliation’ after political apartheid came to an end in South Africa in 1990. The exhibition Apartheid and After addresses the question: where did photographers whose earlier work had opposed the apartheid regime point their cameras after 1980? They include David Goldblatt, for instance, now an éminence grise of South African photography whose exhibition Cross Sections hung in Huis Marseille and others. Has South African democracy been given a face? Where is the real development happening? And where are the scars? Has South African national identity got stuck on a runaway merry-go-round, as the South African visual artist William Kentridge has suggested? One thing is clear: after apartheid, most South African photographers continued to make their own country their work domain, and in doing so they have gained a considerable international reputation.

‘It is astonishing to think that until the beginning of the 1990s, merely two decades ago, modern and contemporary African photography was largely in the shadows.’ Okwui Enwezor in ‘Events of the Self: Portraiture and Social Identity: Contemporary African Photography from the Walther Collection’, Steidl 2013 p.23.

Tags: Okwui Enwezor, David Goldblatt, Pieter Hugo, William Kentridge, Sabelo Mlangeni, Santu Mofokeng, Zanele Muholi, Jo Ractliffe, Guy Tillim