Published by Hatje Cantz. Text by Dirk Klopper, Loretta Ferris, Ashraf Jamal.
In his latest photographic series, South African photographer David Lurie (born 1951) turns his attention to two of the most pressing issues facing South Africa: land and drought. Presented here, Lurie’s color photographs capture the extreme climate and delicate ecosystems of the vast, barren plains of Karoo.
His series Morning after Dark deals with the infrastructure of public and private places and its influence on the city’s residents; the second series, Writing the City, pursues the city’s surfaces: billboards, street signs and graffiti.
The Cradle of Humankind—a paleoanthropological site about 30 miles northwest of Johannesburg, listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1999—is the site of the discovery of many of the oldest hominid fossils in the world, some dating back three million years. This site opens windows onto many pasts: onto the origins and evolution of humanity, but also, perhaps less well known and appreciated, it bears witness to many of the key phases of more recent South African history. This fact has really only been perceived by scholars in the last 30 years, and has still to filter fully into the wider public consciousness.
South African photographer David Lurie's (born 1951) images in Daylight Ghosts attempt to excavate below our conventional sight level to recover the veins of myth and memory that lie beneath the surface of this achingly beautiful landscape—to explore the region, uncover the spirit of the place and ultimately enquire into the nature and possibilities of landscape photography itself.