Published by Steidl. Edited with text by Ivan Vladislavic. Introduction by Clément Chéroux. Text by Lindsay Bremner, Denis Hirson, Harry Kalmer, Kgebetli Moele, Sean O’Toole, et al.
Mikhael Subotzky and Patrick Waterhouse worked at Ponte City, the iconic Johannesburg apartment building and Africa’s tallest residential skyscraper, for more than six years, photographing its residents and exhaustively documenting the building—every door, the view from every window, the image on every television screen. A sequence of essays and documentary texts is also integrated into the visual story.
This expanded edition includes images not included in the original, as well as installation shots from the project’s exhibitions around the world. In the essays, some of South Africa’s leading scholars and writers explore Ponte City’s unique place in Johannesburg and in the imagination of its citizens. What emerges is a complex portrait of a place shaped by contending projections, a single, unavoidable building seen as refuge and monstrosity, dreamland and dystopia, a lightning rod for a society’s hopes and fears.
Mikhael Subotzky (born 1981) is a South African artist working across mediums including film, photography, painting and collage. Subotzky’s work is held in public collections including the Museum of Modern Art, New York, Tate Modern, London, and the San Francisco Museum of Art. He lives and works in Johannesburg.
Patrick Waterhouse (born 1981) is a British photographer whose projects are often collaborative, shaped by close engagement with his subjects. His work is held in collections including the Guggenheim Museum, New York, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and Centre Pompidou, Paris. His most recent book is Restricted Images (2018).
Published by Steidl. Edited by Ivan Vladislavic. Text by Lindsay Bremner, Denis Hirson, Harry Kalmer, Kgebetli Moele, Sean O´Toole, Melinda Silverman, Ivan Vladislavic, Percy Zvomuya.
Mikhael Subotzky and Patrick Waterhouse worked at Ponte City, the iconic Johannesburg apartment building which is Africa's tallest residential skyscraper, for more than six years. They photographed the residents and documented the building-every door, the view from every window, the image on every television screen. This remarkable body of images is presented here in counterpoint with an extensive archive of found material and historical documents. The visual story is integrated with a sustained sequence of essays and documentary texts. In the essays, some of South Africa's leading scholars and writers explore Ponte City's unique place in Johannesburg and in the imagination of its citizens. What emerges is a complex portrait of a place shaped by contending projections, a single, unavoidable building seen as refuge and monstrosity, dreamland and dystopia, a lightning rod for a society's hopes and fears, and always a beacon to navigate by. This long-term project obtained the Discovery Award at Les Rencontres d'Arles in 2011.
Published by Steidl. Edited by Ivan Vladislavic. Contributions by Anthea Buys, Sean O'Toole.
Retinal Shift is the catalogue for Mikhael Subotzky's 2012 Standard Bank Young Artist Exhibition. It investigates the practice and mechanics of looking, in relation to the history of Grahamstown, the history of photographic devices and Subotzky's own history as an artist. The works draw on archival portraits from the last century, found surveillance footage, as well as Subotzky's own photographs from various series that he recontextualizes. The opening work in the book is a self-portrait that Subotzky made with the assistance of an optometrist. High-resolution images of his left and right retinas sit side by side. Says Subotzky: "I was fascinated by this encounter. At the moment that my retinas, parts of my essential organs of seeing, were photographed, I was blinded by the apparatus that made the images."
Published by Chris Boot. Text by Jonny Steinberg, Mikhael Subotzky.
Magnum photographer Mikhael Subotzky's first book, about society, crime and punishment in South Africa, focuses on the small Karoo town of Beaufort West and considers the town, its prison, its vivid characters and poignant social landscapes. With an introduction by leading South African writer Jonny Steinberg and Subotzky's own commentary, the book is both a document of social evidence and the visual manifesto of the best of the new wave of South African art photographers.