Published by Steidl. Text by David Goldblatt, Sean O’Toole.
David Goldblatt’s (born 1930) In Bosburg was published in 1982, making it one of the earlier photobooks in South African history. Goldblatt, himself from a white background and a critical observer of the racist dynamics of his native country, was interested in capturing the "wholly uneventful flow of commonplace, orderly life" of the white population around him. Boksburg, a legally white-only town on the Eastern periphery of Johannesburg (which, at the time, was heavily dependent on black labor), seemed to best fit his purposes, and between 1979 and 1980 he recorded everyday scenes in the town. This new edition includes several additional photographs and a new essay by Sean O’Toole, providing penetrating insight into the history of the book and the story behind the photographs and their subject.
Published by Steidl. Text by David Goldblatt. Poems by Ingrid de Kok.
Following a series of portraits of his compatriots made at the beginning of the 1970s, photographer David Goldblatt, for a very short and intense period of time, naturally turned to focusing on peoples' particulars and individual body languages "as affirmations or embodiments of their selves." Goldblatt's affinity was no accident: Working at his father's men's outfitting store in the 1950s, his awareness of posture, gesture and proportion-technical as it was-formed early and would accompany him throughout his life. In this series we see hands resting on laps, crossed legs, the curved backs of sleepers on a lawn at midday, their fingers and feet relaxed, pausing from their usual occupations. This deeply contemplative work is framed by Ingrid de Kok's poetry. The photographs in Particulars were taken beginning in 1975, and the first edition of the book was published by Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg, in 2003. Goldblatt has revised Particulars for this new Steidl edition.
Published by Steidl. Text by Michael Stevenson. Interview by Mark Haworth-Booth.
Between 1999 and 2011, David Goldblatt did work that he had not previously attempted: personal photography in color. While he had used color extensively in professional work since 1964, he had done almost no personal photography in this medium. But with the new political dispensation as well as technical advances through digital reproduction from film he felt the time was right for him to photograph in color. At first, Goldblatt photographed in his immediate area, Johannesburg. He then decided to look at South Africa by taking photographs within no more than a radius of 500 meters of each of the 122 points of intersection of a whole degree of latitude and a whole degree of longitude within its borders. However, after going to a number of intersections where there was nothing at all that stirred him to photograph, he realized that he was in danger of becoming slave to a formula. After abandoning the initial project he retained the idea of intersections. From time to time, over a period of nine years, he travelled the country in search of intersections-intersections of ideas, values, histories, conflicts, congruencies, fears, joys and aspirations-and the land in which and often because of which these happened. This book brings together a selection of Goldblatt's color photography in South Africa from 2002 to 2011. An earlier version, Intersections, was published by Prestel in 2005, and the catalogue Intersections Intersected, consisting of paired black-and-white and color photographs, was published by Serralves Museum, Porto, in 2008.
Published by Steidl. Contributions by Nadine Gordimer.
On the Mines is a redesigned and expanded version of David Goldblatt's influential 1973 publication. Goldblatt grew up in the South African town of Randfontein, which was shaped by the social culture and financial success of the gold mines surrounding it. When these mines started to fail in the mid-1960s Goldblatt began taking photos of them, which form the basis of On the Mines. The book features an essay on the human and political dimensions of mining in South Africa by Nobel laureate Nadine Gordimer, whose writing has long influenced Goldblatt. The new version of the book maintains the original three chapters--The Witwatersrand: a Time and Tailings, Shaftsinking and Mining Men--but is otherwise completely updated, in Goldblatt's words, "to expand the view but not to alter the sense of things." There are 31 new mostly unpublished photos including color images, 11 deleted images, a postscript by Gordimer to her essay, as well as a text by Goldblatt reflecting on his childhood and the 1973 edition.
Published by Steidl. Contributions by Phillip Van Niekerk, Brenda Goldblatt.
After On the Mines, The Transported of KwaNdebele is the second of David Goldblatt's books to be redesigned and expanded by the artist for Steidl Publishers. Dating originally from 1989, it talks about the workers of an apartheid tribal homeland for blacks, KwaNdebele, which has no industry, very few opportunities for jobs and is a long way from the nearest industrial-commercial activity of white-controlled Pretoria. Workers from KwaNdebele catch buses in the very early morning, some as early as 2:45 am, in order to be at their workplaces in Pretoria by 7:00. At the end of the day they repeat the journey in the other direction, to get home at between 8 and 10 pm. Goldblatt takes us on their bone-jarring journeys through the night, which is a metaphor for their arduous struggle toward freedom itself. In photographs devoid of sentimentality and artifice, the grim determination of these people to survive and overcome emerges in almost heroic terms. Brenda Goldblatt, filmmaker and writer, interviewed some of the bus-riding workers who endured not only these journeys but a civil war precipitated by the apartheid government's attempt to foist a kind of independence on KwaNdebele--a condition which would have made the workers foreigners in the land of their birth, South Africa, and thus deprived them of their limited right to work there. Interviews with contemporary (2012) bus-riders fill out the account. Phillip van Niekerk, former editor of the Mail & Guardian, provides an essay on KwaNdebele, its place in the logic of "grand apartheid" and its half-life in post-apartheid South Africa.
Published by Errata Editions. Text by Jeffrey Ladd, Joanna Lehan.
David Goldblatt's In Boksburg stands as one of the most important observations of a middle-class white community in South Africa during the apartheid years. Published in 1982, it presents an accumulation of everyday details from the community of Boksburg through which a larger portrait is revealed of white societal values within a racially divided state. “Blacks are not of this town,” writes Goldblatt. “They serve it, trade with it, receive charity from it and are ruled, rewarded and punished by its precepts. Some, on occasion, are its privileged guests. But all who go there, do so by permit or invitation, never by right.” This facsimile reproduces all 71 black-and-white photographs as well as Goldblatt's eloquent introduction to the work, and noted writer and editor, Joanna Lehan, contributes a contemporary essay written for this volume. Errata Editions' Books on Books series is an ongoing publishing project dedicated to making rare and out-of-print photography books accessible to students and photobook enthusiasts. These are not reprints or facsimiles but complete studies of the original books. Each volume in the series presents the entire content, page for page, of an original master bookwork which, up until now, has been too rare or expensive for most to experience. Through a mix of classic and contemporary titles, this series spans the breadth of photographic practice as it has appeared on the printed page and allows further study of the creation and meanings of these great works of art. Each volume in the series contains illustrations of every page in the original photobook, a new essay by an established writer on photography, production notes about the creation of the original edition and biographical and bibliographical information about each artist.
Published by Hatje Cantz. Introduction by Gunilla Knape. Text by Michael Godby.
When David Goldblatt received the world-renowned Hasselblad Award in 2006, he had been making photographs of the South African landscape and culture for more than 50 years. Born in 1930 in a gold-mining town near Johannesburg, his parents were Jewish refugees from Lithuania, and they raised him with an emphasis on tolerance and antiracism. In 1975, at the height of apartheid, Goldblatt explored white nationalist culture in Some Afrikaners Photographed, and in the 80s he observed workers on the Kwandebele-Pretoria bus, many of whom traveled eight hours every day to work and back. His late-90s solo show at New York's Museum of Modern Art focused on architectural work, and showed off Goldblatt's uncanny ability to discover a society through its buildings and landscapes. His photographs of architectural structures revealed the ways that ideology had defined his home country's landscape.