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New Museum Presents First Major US Exhibition of Works by South African Photographer David Goldblatt in Over a Decade
After their funeral, a child salutes to the Cradock Four, Cradock, Eastern Cape, 20 July 1985. 44.5 x 56cm.
NEW YORK, NY.- For South African photographer David Goldblatt’s first major New York exhibition in over a decade, the New Museum will bring together 114 images taken over the past fifty years. The exhibition features a selection of photographs titled Intersections Intersected, that look at the relationship between the past and present by pairing Goldblatt’s older black-and-white images with his more recent color work, as well as selections from other series. “Intersections Intersected: The Photography of David Goldblatt” will be on view from July 15 through October 11, 2009, and will span the third-and fourth-floor galleries. A conversation between Goldblatt and Richard Flood, Chief Curator, will take place in the New Museum theater on Thursday, July 16, at 7 p.m.

Recipient of the 2009 Henri Cartier-Bresson Award and the prestigious Hasselblad Photography Award, and one of the great documentary photographers of our time, Goldblatt began photographing professionally in the early 1960s, focusing on the imagery and effects of apartheid. The son of Jewish Lithuanian parents who fled to South Africa to escape religious persecution, Goldblatt was forced into a peculiar situation, being both a white man in a racially segregated society and a member of a religious minority with a sense of otherness. He used the camera to document apartheid’s horrifying realities and injustices; the resulting photographs reveal a complex portrait of the intricacies and banalities of daily life in a divided society.

Goldblatt says, “I regard myself as an unlicensed, self-appointed observer and critic of South African society which I continue to explore with the camera.”

Unlike many documentary photographers who capture the decisive moment, Goldblatt’s interest lies in the routine existence of a particular time in history. Whether showing the plight of black communities, the culture of the Afrikaner nationalists, the comfort of white suburbanites, or the disputed architectural landscape, Goldblatt’s photographs intimately portray a culture and landscape plagued by racism. He continues to explore the consciousness of South African society today, looking at the condition of race relations after the end of apartheid while also tackling other contemporary issues, such as the influence of the AIDS epidemic. As an almost forensic witness to history, “Intersections Intersected” commingles past, present, and future in a narrative that persistently turns away from spectacle in its constant search for the human.

This exhibition was organized and curated by Ulrich Loock, Curator, Fundação de Serralves, Museu de Arte Contemporânea, Porto, Portugal. Its presentation at the New Museum is organized by Richard Flood, Chief Curator.

David Goldblatt
Born in Randfontein, South Africa in 1930, David Goldblatt has been documenting the changing political landscape of his country for more than five decades. In 1989, he founded the Market Photography Workshop in Johannesburg, with the idea of teaching visual literacy and photographic skills to young people, with particular emphasis on those disadvantaged by apartheid. His photographic essay South Africa: the Structure of Things Then was made into a monograph and also shown at the Museum of Modern Art, New York in 1998. Goldblatt’s work was included in Documenta 11 in 2002; Documenta 12 in 2007; and the traveling megaexhibition “Africa Remix” in 2004–07. His limited edition book, Particulars, won the award for the best photography book at the Rencontres d’Arles festival, France, in 2004. Goldblatt won the 2006 Hasselblad Foundation International Award in Photography. He received an Honorary Doctorate in Literature from the University of the Witwatersrand in April 2008. Goldblatt will be awarded the Henri Cartier-Bresson Award in July 2009.

New Museum | David Goldblatt | South Africa | Henri Cartier-Bresson Award | Jewish | Lithuanian |

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