Five Photographers: A Tribute to David Goldblatt

David Goldblatt, with his photos behind him, speaks before a rapt audience at the Market Photo Workshop

David Goldblatt, with his photos behind him, speaks before a rapt audience at the Market Photo Workshop

Earlier this month we wrote about an exhibition of Sue Williamson’s work that’s currently showing at the Goodman Gallery in Johannesburg. A bit closer to home,  at the Durban Art Gallery, tomorrow sees the opening of Five Photographers: A Tribute to David Goldblatt. The exhibition is one of the last projects that famed photographer David  Goldblatt was involved in prior to his passing last year. Goldblatt, who was responsible for the establishment of the Market Photo Workshop, continued to support the next generation of photographers through Five Photographers, selecting four individuals whose work he admired. The title of the exhibition is a playful reference to Goldblatt as the fifth photographer.

Co-curated by Goldblatt and John Fleetwood, the exhibition was first shown in Johannesburg at the Alliance Française in May 2018, and earlier this year it traveled to Mozambique and then Lesotho. Tomorrow’s opening, which takes place at 17h00 at the Durban Art Gallery, will see John Fleetwood do a walkabout of the exhibition, with photographers Mauro Vombe and Jabulani Dhlamini also in attendance.

Alexia Webster

Alexia Webster, Street Studios

Alexia Webster, Street Studios

“In Alexia Webster’s ‘Street Studios’, she uses street corners and public spaces to set up outdoor photo studios in different communities. Passing families and individuals are invited to interact to create portraits with the photographer. In these stories, notions of belonging intertwine with the constructed nature of the encounter. She has created street studio’s in Cape Town, Johannesburg, refugee camps in DRC and South Sudan, rock quarries in Madagascar, and in Mexico and India.” – John Fleetwood

Jabulani Dhlamini
“When Jabulani Dhlamini was a youngster he frequently heard the names of Biko, Hani and Sobukwe; but without knowing who they were he assumed them to be relatives. He grew up with these assumptions and today has a feeling for them of a certain closeness. Something of that closeness permeates his essay on Sharpeville, the place where 69 black people were killed by the police in 1960 and where Dhlamini was brought up and lives. Sharpeville was and is still a harsh and unbeautiful place. In his pictures Dhlamini shirks none of this but conveys nevertheless the intimacy of family, memory and belonging.” – David Goldblatt

Mauro Vombe, Passengers

Mauro Vombe, Passengers

Mauro Vombe
“Many photographers, including some of great fame, have photographed people in crowded trains and buses, but none that I know of has achieved the sense of survival made monumental of which Vombe’s photographs speak. They are completely of the moment and yet beyond time. They put me in mind of Cartier Bresson’s timeless 1948 photograph of people in Shanghai climbing and shoving at any cost to get to the bank and the gold.” – David Goldblatt

Pierre Crocquet
“Pierre Crocquet tried to interest me in his work at a time when I was heavily committed to a major project. To my shame I failed to respond and when I finally tried to do so, he was dead. There can be few who engaged with paedophilia and child abuse so plainly, frankly and yet delicately as Crocquet. Seldom has any piece of work in photography and words been more frighteningly titled than Pinky Promise. Survival in “Pinky Promise” is in utter contrast to survival in Mauro Vombe’s buses.” – David Goldblatt

Image of David Goldblatt courtesy of 2summers.net

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