Known affectionately by its inhabitants as Fietas, though officially called Pageview, this was one of the city’s few “nonracial” suburbs, where Malay, African, Chinese, Indian and a few white people lived. Composed of narrow streets and small houses, here different races and religions formed a strong, safe community where children played in the streets. There were two mosques, Hindu, Tamil and Muslim schools, cricket, soccer and bridge clubs, and shops. In 1948 the National Party came to power and made the clearance of all “nonwhite” inhabitants of Pageview an immediate objective: some 5,000 Africans and other people of color were evicted or “persuaded” to leave.
The origins of this book lie in David Goldblatt’s simple observation that many of his fellow South Africans, regardless of their race and class, are the victims of often violent crime. “I have asked myself,” says Goldblatt, “not least in the fear and fury of holdups with knives and guns, who are you? Are you monsters? Are you ‘ordinary’ people—if there are such? How did you come to do this? What are your lives?”
And so began in 2008 Ex Offenders at the Scene of Crime, for which Goldblatt photographed criminal offenders and alleged offenders at the place that was probably life-changing for them and their victims: the scene of the crime or arrest. Each portrait is accompanied by the subject’s written story in his or her own words, for many a cathartic experience and the first opportunity to recount events without being judged. To ensure the integrity of his undertaking, Goldblatt paid each of his subjects 800 rand for permission to photograph and interview them, and any profit from the project will be donated to the rehabilitation of offenders. Ex Offenders also features Goldblatt’s portraits and interviews of subjects in England, made in collaboration with the community arts project Multistory.
Published in a limited edition of 750 copies, the book comes with a handmade wooden support.
Published by Steidl. Text by Antjie Krog, Ivor Powell.
David Goldblatt (1930–2018) began working on Some Afrikaners Photographed (1975) in 1963. He had sold his father’s clothing store where he worked, and become a full-time photographer. The ruling Afrikaner National Party—many of its leaders and members had supported the Nazis in the World War II—was firming its grip on the country in the face of black resistance. Yet Goldblatt was drawn not to the events of the time but to “the quiet and commonplace where nothing ‘happened’ and yet all was contained and immanent.” Making these photos he explored his ambivalence toward the Afrikaners he knew from his father’s store. Most, he guessed, were National Party voters, yet he experienced them as “austere, upright, unaffected people of rare generosity of spirit and earthy humor.” Their potency and contradictions moved and disturbed him; their influence pervaded his life. The book includes an essay by famed South African writer Antjie Krog.
The origins of this book lie in David Goldblatt’s (1930–2018) simple observation that many of his fellow South Africans are the victims of often violent crime. And so began Ex Offenders at the Scene of Crime, for which Goldblatt photographed criminal offenders and alleged offenders at the place that was probably life-changing for them and their victims: the scene of the crime or arrest. Each portrait is accompanied by the subject’s written story in his or her own words; for many, a cathartic experience and the first opportunity to recount events without being judged. Goldblatt paid each of his subjects 800 rand for permission to photograph and interview them, and any profit from the project will be donated to the rehabilitation of offenders. Ex Offenders also features Goldblatt’s portraits and interviews of subjects in England, made in collaboration with the community arts project Multistory.
Published by Steidl. Edited with text by Alexandra Dodd.
Accompanied by a selection of some of David Goldblatt’s (1930–2018) lesser-known photographs, this distilled dialogue is drawn directly from the recordings of a roving conversation with the photographer conducted three months before his death in June 2018. Goldblatt was born in Randfontein—a mining town on the Witwatersrand gold reef—in 1930, the grandson of Lithuanian-Jewish migrants who settled in South Africa after escaping persecution in Europe. After the death of his father in 1962, Goldblatt sold the family clothing business to become a full-time photographer. In this candid conversation with writer Alexandra Dodd, Goldblatt shares his views about land and landscape, the dangerous lure of repetition in portrait photography, Johannesburg, the solipsism of life as a photographer, staying sharp, his visceral intolerance of censorship, his abiding interest in structures and his observation of instances of dominion under democracy, among other key themes.
Published by Steidl/Centre Pompidou. Edited with text by Karolina Ziebinska-Lewandowska. Text by David Goldblatt, Ivor Powell.
This book is a selective retrospective of David Goldblatt (born 1930), a key figure in 20th-century photography. Starting from his earliest photographic series, it shows the foundations of Goldblatt’s critical passion for photography, his social sensitivity and political consciousness. Also presented are his most recent photographs pertaining to the changing situation in his native South Africa. Structures of Dominion and Democracy assembles many of Goldblatt’s influential series, including On the Mines, Some Afrikaners and Structures with some less well-known including Kas Maine, and reconstructs the history of their first publication in the international press. Reproducing original handmade dummies and working plates, the process of bookmaking and other diverse applications of these often iconic images are laid bare. In addition to texts by the photographer, essays by Ivor Powell and Karolina Ziebinska-Lewandowska explore Goldblatt’s work in the context of South African political and cultural history, as well as his contribution to the wider history of photography.
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 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 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 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.