Cosmo City, 15 August 2009, 2009

Miami Beach 2016
Goodman Gallery
Digital print on 100% cotton rag paper
Edition of 10
98.0 x 124.0 (cm)
38.6 x 48.8 (inch)
Goldblatt is renowned for his documentation of the progress of societal changes and how these impact on the landscape and on communities. In the 1980s and 1990 he photographed structures that South Africans had made during the era of apartheid, what he termed “the era of Baasskap” (Baas meaning ‘boss’ in Afrikaans – referring to white males). The image of a shack under construction dates back to the year that the ANC was unbanned in South Africa, the country’s present ruling party. His photograph of Cosmo City, taken almost a decade later illustrates the country’s endeavour to overcome the housing shortage for the poor and middle-lower classes in as short a time as possible. Through these pictures of construction Goldblatt shows how renewal in the face of change has reinforced some of the class and racial divisions of the past. Goldblatt wrote in 2014 of his ongoing Structures series: “I have engaged [with] some of the structures that have emerged with our democracy and that I believe are expressive of values in this new, still nascent way of being in our society.”