Rows of unfinished of roofless concrete houses in South Africa.
Excerpted label text from the Curatorial Fellowship exhibition “Eyes Are For Asking: Narratives in Photography,” March 24 – May 1, 2016:
David Goldblatt’s work highlights rural and suburban landscapes shaped by changing social conditions and racial politics in his native South Africa. His photographs often represent the human figure through absence or displacement. His documentary approach chronicles the effects of Apartheid by highlighting the landscape as both a symbol and artifact of oppression. This photograph depicts a vacant landscape marked with empty structures in various stages of construction—most mere fragments of a complicated intent. The houses were to accommodate people living in shacks; however, eight years after the municipality had approved the project, the efforts were stalled and the structures remained incomplete. Forever unbuilt, the deserted landscape stands in for the complex history of the site as well as its missing inhabitants. -Gretchen Halverson (M.A. Art History ‘16) and Procheta Mukherjee Olson (M.F.A. Studio Art ‘17)
architecture; domestic life; landscape; outdoor; rural