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‘This exhibition, curated by MCA Chief Curator Rachel Kent in close collaboration with the artist before his death, marks seven decades of Goldblatt’s photography. Presented in groups and extended series, his photographs encompass the history of South Africa’s mining industry, white middle class, forced segregation of black and Asian communities into townships under the Group Areas Act, and stories of the country’s ex-offenders and their crimes. They also include Goldblatt’s parallel documentation of South African and Australian asbestos mining, including the West Australian ‘ghost town’ of Wittenoom and the human cost of this industry’.
David Goldblatt with 4×5 camera
‘Following the dismantling of Apartheid, Goldblatt embraced colour photography, a format he had felt largely unable to consider before, due to the dark history of his country. He observed, “You need to work to look at a black and white photograph. It doesn’t immediately come to you. Colour is much more sensuous, sweet and welcoming. [For] Apartheid and the anger and fear that it stirred, there was no other medium than black and white.”
Installation at Museum of Contemporary Art Australia. Sydney
Main photograph: David Goldblatt: Wait a minute photographer. Braamfontein, Johannesburg (diptych) (3_1539), 1955. Silver gelatin photograph. Approx. 30 x 40cm. Edition of ten
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