Photography, installation, drawing and animation from seven South
African artists are sensitively brought together in this exhibition to convey a personal, and at times, pained vision of the artists’ homeland.
David Goldblatt’s vast, large format photographs of barren landscapes, scattered with incomplete housing developments and abandoned settlements, introduce an atmosphere of ruin and isolation which permeates the exhibition. Goldblatt’s images highlight the fragile and often unobtainable sanctuary of home in South Africa.
David Goldblatt 2008
On the 1st floor, Santu Mofokeng’s series of stark black and white images contemplate the friction between commercialism and poverty in modern day South Africa. Mofokeng began his career as a street photographer – a dangerous occupation in a country where documentary is often considered highly subversive. He seems to adopt a similarly covert approach to these shots of billboard advertisements looming above displaced figures – a narrative of juxtapositions broaching the inappropriateness of capitalist iconography within a country stricken by poverty.
Santu Mofokeng 2004
From Mofokeng’s blurry, black and white urban landscapes to Guy Tilim’s shots of high-contrast, high-rise living in Johannesburg. The square shots are arranged in tightly packed grids echoing the endless rows of windows in the oppressive, utilitarian apartment blocks. We are given a tour through bare, dilapidated interiors, out onto roof-top campsites and down spiralling stairwells, greeted on occasion by the stoic, unsmiling faces of residents and visitors.
Guy Tilim 2003 – 2007
The exhibition ends on the top floor as you are lured into a dark annex by the rhythmic thronging of crashing waves and African music. William Kentridge’s beautiful charcoal animation Tide Table lulls you into a trance, as a bewildering whirr of visual symbols wash over you. Mechanical deck chairs morph into cattle and silent figures melt into the sand. Then the lights come up and you make your way downstairs, blinking, out into the affluence of Bond Street to go home sheltered, safe and reflective.
Haunch of Venison
Haunch of Venison Yard
London W1K 5ES
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