David Goldblatt’s landscapes of high voltage

Mail & Guardian | Melvyn Minnaar:

Never obvious, photographer David Goldblatt’s landscapes are elegiac, silent – and monumental, writes Melvyn Minnaar.

A restless sense of documentation drives David Goldblatt. Like those earliest colonial adventurer-explorer-writers of Southern Africa, wide-eyed to the differences of the worlds they encountered, our master photo-grapher has stubbornly traipsed the landscape to look, reflect and record “structures”.

Photographer David Goldblatt’s landscapes are elegiac, silent – and monumental. (Pic) ‘Cows at a taxi rank on Error Street, New Doornfontein, Johannesburg’. December 8 2012 (David Goldblatt).

It’s been much of a life’s obsession for the soon-to-be 84-year-old. And his open-ended visual essay about the things humans put up in nature, and the places around them – specifically those constructions and configurations South Africans contrive in their environment – has the urgency and urge of a scientist trying to understand and the obligation of an artist to portray…


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