Relaunch PhotoZA Gallery with Then & Now Exhibition

02/22/2009 – 17:0002/22/2009 – 20:00Etc/GMT+2

Major photo exhibition reaches Johannesburg

A HIGHLY acclaimed photographic exhibition featuring the work of eight South African documentary photographers will be shown in Johannesburg from 22 February until 15 March.

Entitled ‘Then and Now’, the collection comprises photographs taken both before and after South Africa’s transition to democracy.

The project has been initiated and curated by the photographer Paul Weinberg. The other contributors are David Goldblatt, George Hallett, Eric Miller, Cedric Nunn, Guy Tillim, Graeme Williams, and Gisèle Wulfsohn.

Almost all of them were members of Afrapix, the collective photo agency that played a central role in documenting the political conflict in the 1980s and early 1990s.

The exhibition will hang at the relaunched PhotoZA Gallery at KAMERAZ Centre in Rosebank. It is travelling South Africa as well as the United States, Europe and Australia.

Weinberg explains the project as follows: ‘During the 1980s, the overriding priority of South African documentary photographers was to record political conflict, and more personal forms of photographic expression were kept in the background.

‘The transition to democracy freed them to explore other, less political subjects, broaden their scope of their work beyond South Africa’s borders, and re-examine their approach to photography.

‘The purpose of this project is to record the contrasts — and the continuities — between their earlier and later work. The result is a fascinating record of a country in conflict, and then in a state of reconstruction and rediscovery.’

A video documentary featuring interviews with the contributing photographers will be shown at the exhibition. A book featuring the entire collection of photographs, a critical essay, and extracts from the interviews will be on sale.

Riaan de Villiers of The Highveld Press, the book’s publisher, believes the exhibition is one of the most significant photographic collections shown in South Africa in recent years. ‘It celebrates the work of eight remarkable photographers who have made a massive contribution to South African documentary photography in our time.’

• The Then & Now project is managed by the Centre for Curating the Archive in the Michaelis School of Fine Art of the University of Cape Town. It has been funded by the Conference, Workshop and Cultural Initiative (CWCI) Fund, a partnership programme between South Africa and the European Union; and the Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library at Duke University in the United States.

For more information, contact:

Janet Wilhelm: 082 408 1917,
Paul Weinberg: 082 772 2656,
Riaan de Villiers: 083 702 6347,

Photographs from the exhibition are available for publication. Contact Janet Wilhelm or Riaan de Villiers, and state required size and resolution.