British GÇÿblockhouse fortification, built during the Anglo-Boer War, Bartons Folly, Hekpoort
Media Alert: David Lurie’s ‘Daylight Ghosts- History, Myth, Memory ‘
Exhibition Opening: 22 November at 18:30 The Melrose Gallery is proud to host celebrated photographer David Lurie’s latest exhibition titled “Daylight Ghosts – History, Myth, Memory”. This captivating exhibition explores The Cradle of Humankind through a series of photographs and the launch of a coffee table book published by the leading international art-book publishers, ‘Hatje Cantz Verlag, Germany’. David Lurie’s poignant 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” . (James Sey) The Cradle of Humankind—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 3 million years. This area in South Africa opens windows onto many pasts: onto the origins and evolution of humanity, but also, perhaps less well known and appreciated, marks and bears witness to many of the key phases of more recent South African history. This has only been perceived by scholars in the last 30 years, and has still to filter fully into the wider public consciousness. David’s photographs grace numerous important private, public and corporate collections both locally and abroad including the Iziko South African National Gallery; Getty Centre for Arts & Humanities, Los
Angeles; the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art, Africa; Berkeley Art Museum, Berkeley; Spier Permanent Art Collection; the Essl Museum, Austria. Lurie is a multi-award winning photographer who has exhibited extensively both locally and internationally. Born in Cape Town, David studied economics, politics and philosophy at the University of Cape Town. He went on to teach philosophy at the University before moving to the London School of Economics in 1980, where he undertook research in the
Department of International Relations. From 1985, he worked as a consultant-economist in London, while simultaneously undertaking
documentary photography projects on a part-time basis. This became his full-time job in 1995, following the publication of his first book Life in the Liberated Zone.
The exhibition will run at The Melrose Gallery in Johannesburg from 23 November to 16 December 2018 following on from its run at the Irma Stern Museum in Cape Town. James Sey, the respected fine art consultant & writer, will open the exhibition. David Krut will host the book launch at their Parkwood premises on 20 November.
An Artist’s Walkabout will be conducted 24 November 11:00 – 12:30 – All welcome.
An RSVP is required to attend the opening reception: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Cradle of Humankind – listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1999 – opens windows onto many pasts: onto the origins and evolution of humanity, but also, perhaps less well known and appreciated, marks and bears witness to many of the key phases of more recent South African history.
The Cradle region is the scene of numerous epic battles: ancient conflicts as well as those between the many African chiefdoms that settled or tried to settle in the interior, during the period sometimes called the difaqane; between African chiefdoms and Boer pioneers, and between Boers and Britons, as well as several Afrikaner rebellions. The Cradle provides a lens through which to view and comprehend a series of absolutely pivotal and formative moments of South African history. It offers a privileged vantage point to understand what it means to be human and what it meant and currently means to be South African.
But how to capture this perspective in landscape photographs in this achingly beautiful region? How to excavate below our conventional sight level to recover the veins of myth and memory that lie beneath a surface that conceals more than it reveals, given the extreme limitations of the medium? To look and discover what eludes cursory recognition and appreciation, to try and discern the outline of an old landscape “protruding above the surface of the commonplace of contemporary life” (Simon Schama) to contemplate the past by means of “a method of suggestion based on ellipsis and absence” (Geoff Dyer).
‘It was an opportunity to reflect, enlarge and contribute to self-knowledge, to explore and immerse myself in the region, its myths and its history, uncover the spirit of the place and even inquire into the nature and possibilities of landscape photography itself.’