South Africa, Chromatic Existences: David Goldblatt & Mikhael Subotzky

  • France
  • 2014
  • en
  • [cc]
  • 14'

South Africa is commonly associated with violence, through its history, of course, but also as a mirror of an all-pervasive global violence.

David Goldblatt, himself a victim in his country, has chosen to photograph the criminals in large format, drive them to the scene of their crime and listen to their story.

Mikhael Subotzky is questioning violence and its representation. He has confronted the aesthetic approach assumed by photography and the reality that surrounds it.

South Africa, Chromatic Existences: David Goldblatt & Mikhael Subotzky
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Synopsis

South Africa is commonly associated with violence, through its history, of course, but also as a mirror of an all-pervasive global violence.

David Goldblatt, himself a victim in his country, has chosen to photograph the criminals in large format, drive them to the scene of their crime and listen to their story.

Mikhael Subotzky is questioning violence and its representation. He has confronted the aesthetic approach assumed by photography and the reality that surrounds it.

What you will learn in this film…

The value of photography according to David Goldblatt • His quest for reality • The origin of the series Ex-Offenders • His listening work • The crime scene • A face of violence • A specificity of black and white • A search for equality with the subject • The source of crime for David Goldblatt • A link between South African violence and global violence • A violence of representation • The importance of form • A search for instability in the composition of the photograph • The photographic double according to Wim Wenders

When you make a photograph in black and white, you want to tell something in a medium that is limited. That forces you to extract from reality something that is like a juice.
A photograph is always a double image, showing at first glance its subject, but at a second glance, more or less visible, the picture of the photographer in action.

Film chapters

summary00:00 David Goldblatt

summary03:24 Extract the essential

summary07:16 Mikhael Subotzky

summary10:39 Break the surface

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Linked Articles

Further exploration

Bibliography

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• EX OFFENDERS AT THE SCENE OF CRIME - artist: David Goldblatt ; 2020 ; Steidl Verlag 

• DAVID GOLDBLATT: STRUCTURES OF DOMINION AND DEMOCRACY - artist: David Goldblatt ; authors: Ivor Powell and Karolina Ziebinska-Lewandowska ; 2018 ; Steidl 

• BEAUFORT WEST - artist: Mikhael Subotzky ; author: Jonny Steinberg ; 2008 ; Chris Boot 

• PONTE CITY - artists: Mikhael Subotzky and Patrick Waterhouse ; 2014 ; Steidl Interart