Image caption | David Goldblatt: A plot-holder, his wife and their eldest son at lunch, Wheatlands, Randfontein, 1962
Vintage silver gelatin print; 30 x 20cm
The joint presentation here is of the work of two significant South African contemporary photographers, David Goldblatt and Ernest Cole. It explores their incisive and distinct approaches to photography within the context of apartheid. Each photographer, due to his race, were able to photograph subjects in ways that it would have been difficult for the other to have done by virtue of the strict segregation laws in force in the country at the time. Different as their methodologies may have been, both photographers, living and working in and around the same cities, captured equally distinctive images of their compatriots and surroundings. For many, their work became windows through which the realities of life under apartheid could be seen.
Ernest Cole (born 1940 in Pretoria, South Africa) began work in the 1960s as one of the nation's first black freelance photographers. He was known in his lifetime for only one book, House of Bondage (1967). He died in exile in New York City in 1990.
David Goldblatt (born 1930 in Randfontein, South Africa) was a self-taught photographer who documented South Africa’s landscapes, people, and structures for over seven decades. He died in Johannesburg in 2018.