Figures & Fictions: Contemporary South African Photography coming to V & A Museum, London

Juxtapoz // Monday, 28 Mar 2011
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When we published our Contemporary African Art Issue in November of 2008, we featured a few prominent contemporary South African photographers, including Pieter Hugo and Mikhael Subotzky. Both, along with 15 others, are part of the Victoria and Albert Museum of London's exhibition, Figures & Fictions: Contemporary South African Photography, opening April 12, 2011.

The photographers include David Goldblatt, Santu Mofokeng, Pieter Hugo and Zwelethu Mthethwa, to a new generation including Subotzky, Zanele Muholi and Hassan and Husain Essop.

The V&A writes:

Figures & Fictions: Contemporary South African Photography highlights the work of 17 South African photographers, all of whom live and work in the country and whose images were made between 2000 and 2010. Each photographer is represented by one or more projects that are linked by the depiction of people and a self-conscious engagement with South Africa's political and photographic past.

Photographs showing figures raise pertinent issues of identity: how the gaze of the camera, photographer and viewer is returned by the subject, and the balance of power which that interaction implies. The 'figure' also implies not only the human figure but also the metaphorically figurative. Photographs can be like a 'figure' of speech, composed of familiar words but containing an ambiguity between literal and figurative interpretation.


Some of the works below. For a full list of photographers and captions, click here.

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Figures & Fictions: Contemporary South African Photography
April 12—July 17, 2011
V&A Museum
London, England