Schlagwort-Archive: photography

Kap-Kolumne: Eine Verabredung mit der Geschichte

„Rise and Fall of Apartheid“. Eine Ausstellung im Museum Africa in Newtown, Johannesburg

(Autor: Detlev Reichel ist der Kap-Kolumnist des Südafrika-Portals. Als Missionskind, Sozialist und einstiger West-Berliner Anti-Apartheids-Aktivist berichtet er aus und zu Südafrika.)

Der Untertitel sei eine bewußte Analogie zu Hannah Arendts Wort von der „Banalität des Bösen“, schreibt Mark Robbins, Executive Director der Ausstellung, in seinem Vorwort zum Katalog. Hannah Arendt, die als Journalistin in Jerusalem den Prozess gegen den Organisator des Holocaust, Adolf Eichmann, beobachtete, gab ihrem Buch den Untertitel „Ein Bericht von der Banalität des Bösen“.

© Die Ausstellung „Rise and Fall of Apartheid“ ist bis zum 29. Juni 2014 im Museum Africa in Newtown/Johannesburg zu sehen. Kap-Kolumnist Detlev Reichel besuchte diese Kunstveranstaltung.

© Die Ausstellung „Rise and Fall of Apartheid“ ist bis zum 29. Juni 2014 im Museum Africa in Newtown/Johannesburg zu sehen. Kap-Kolumnist Detlev Reichel besuchte diese Kunstveranstaltung.

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Multimedia projects by Louis Vorster

Interview about multimedia design, South African photography and arts

(Editor/ Autor: Ghassan Abid)

Deutsche Interview-Zusammenfassung:

© Louis Vorster, Südafrikas bekanntester Werbefotograf

Vodacom, Nike oder The South African Airways – die südafrikanischen und ausländischen Konzerne haben bei der Beauftragung von Werbekampagnen einen Ansprechpartner: Louis Vorster. Vorster zählt zu den bekanntesten und erfolgreichsten Fotografen Südafrikas. Einst unterrichtete er Studenten im Studiengang  Multimedia Design, nun liebt er es, den Menschen in Bilder einzufangen. Seine Inspiration erhält er aus Deutschland, von den Fotografen Wolfgang Tillmans und Jürgen Telle. Vorster hält fest, dass sich in Südafrika keine homogene Fotografieszene entwickelt hat, sondern vielmehr verschiedene Stile entstanden sind. Umso trauriger ist es, dass die gegenwärtige Regierung des Landes keine Förderung der Fotografen für wichtig erachtet, obwohl diese – nachgewiesen in den USA – als eigene Wirtschaftsbranche zum BIP beisteuern kann. Die kontrovers diskutierte künstlerische Arbeit seiner schwarz-lesbischen Kollegin Zanele Muholi, die die Intimität von Frauen abbildet, verteidigt er.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: We welcome on „SÜDAFRIKA – Land der Kontraste“ – the German gateway to South Africa – the South African commercial portrait photographer Louis Vorster. You studied Industrial Design in Johannesburg and Cape Town. One day you switched to photography, for which reason and why photography?

Answer: In the late 90’s after I graduated in Industrial design I drifted into multimedia design and for 2 years taught multimedia design. At the university where I taught, our department shared a building with the photography department, I found myself spending more time at the photography department creating content for multimedia projects than designing the actual projects. After my two years teaching, I decided I wanted to be a professional photographer and assisted other photographers for a couple of years.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: You are known for your expressive portraits. What does it mean for you from artistic viewpoint to photograph people?

Answer: I find it easier to express myself as a photographer when I photograph people as opposed to when I shoot landscapes or still lives, not only because people can be directed but because people move me more than other subjects, I like people.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: South Africa is becoming more and more an global player in arts. However, the United States are the leading nation in photography. Is the South African government supporting their photographers by funding or connecting?

Answer: No, I think generally our goverment and individuals representing the goverment don’t understand the role or importance of photographers. Fine art, commercial  or press photographers. 

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: You still haven´t in Germany yet. What do you think about Germany as a country and about German arts. Which impressions do you have from this nation and Germans?

Answer: This is an interesting question because my documentary work is influenced by two German photographers more than anything else, Wolfgang Tillmans and Juergen Teller. Both of them are very well known, I have looked at their work since 2001. 

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Please note: All arts are property and under copyright licence of Louis Vorster.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: You worked already for several big enterprises, like Vodacom, Nike or The South African Airways. On the one hand, you are producing portraits. On the other hand, you are capturing pictures from landscapes, music events and polaroids. Your collection „Portraits #1“ is really interesting – what is your message to the public?

Answer: Smile!

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: In the past, we have interviewed Zanele Muholi, a lesbian black photographer from Durban. She told us, that photographer will be in social trouble, if they are focussing on intimacy. Does the South African society being ready for ´spunky´ arts?

Answer: South Africa is such a diverse society. Communities not only range from liberal to conservative but we also have different cultural backgrounds. Topics that may be everyday conversation in one community could be a big taboo in others. Unfortunately some people will always be blinded by the subject matter of a photograph to such an extent that they will never be able to appreciate any other value that the work may have. Artists like Zanele Muholi face challenges not always understood by us who express and present our work to more liberal (and tolerant) audiences.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Which upcoming projects are you preparing?

Answer: I started shooting a documentary on violence under farm workers in the Cape winelands about a year ago, I would like to push this project a bit harder and maybe realize it in the next few months.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Which dreams would you like to realize?

Answer: I would like to shoot a big documentary, something I can sink my teeth into. Something important that will keep me occupied for 6 months to a year. Also. I would like to get paid for it. 

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Louis Vorster, portrait photographer from Cape Town in South Africa, thank you very much for this interview!

2010sdafrika-article to photographer Roger Ballen:

https://2010sdafrika.wordpress.com/2011/03/20/photos-with-reflection-on-the-psyche-roger-ballen-in-interview/

Reflection on the psyche – Roger Ballen in interview

„For me the dark side has always been a source of light and energy.“

(Editor: Anne Schroeter)

Deutsche Interview-Zusammenfassung:

Roger Ballen zählt zu den bekanntesten Fotografen Südafrikas.  In New York geboren und in Johannesburg nun lebend,  begann Ballen mit dem dreizehnten Lebensjahr mit der Kunst der Fotografie. Seine Mutter arbeitete für die renommierte Fotoagentur Magnum Photos. Ballen fotografiert jene Begebenheiten, die bei den meisten Betrachtern ein beklemmendes Gefühl auslösen dürften – eine Reflektion in die dunkle Seite der eigenen Psyche. Roger Ballen ist ein Künstler, der sehr viel Anspruch an sich selbst stellt. So ist es nicht verwunderlich, dass dieser Mensch für seine Fotokollektionen meist über fünf Jahre braucht, bis diese in Form eines Bildbandes veröffentlicht werden. „SÜDAFRIKA – Land der Kontraste“ ist überaus erfreut, diesen interessanten Top-Fotografen interviewen und darüberhinaus exklusiv einige seiner eindrucksvollen Kunstwerke im Portal abbilden zu dürfen.

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2010sdafrika-editorial staff: We would like to welcome on „SÜDAFRIKA – Land der Kontraste“ – the German gateway to South Africa – the in New York City born and in Johannesburg living photographer Roger Ballen. You are known for your impressive arts in South Africa and abroad. Why did you start to photograph and what does it mean for you to catch the reality in pictures?

Answer: I bought my first camera when I was thirteen. By that stage, in the early sixties, my mother had been working for Magnum for some years. Through her conversation, and particularly her collecting, I was exposed to the work of many photographers – some of them now considered historically important. In this milieu there was a complete belief in the value of photography; and particularly in its ability to capture and convey meaning in a socio-documentary context.

© Photographer Roger Ballen from Jo´burg

© Photographer Roger Ballen from Jo´burg

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: How do you choose your themes? Do you even choose them or do they come “naturally”?

Answer: My themes are multiple and ultimately very difficult to describe in words. Most of my projects take approximately five years to complete and are then published as a book. The projects evolve over time and it is next to impossible to predict the course the images will take.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Would you approve, if I say, that your photographs are scary? And if you do, why do you still take them, rather than happy and content photographs?

Answer: I believe that if a person find my images scary then that individual has been affected in a very positive way. The images have penetrated into the ’shadow side‘ the place of the psyche that we are scared to confront, to come to grips with. Most people call it the dark side. For me the dark side has always been a source of light and energy. I often mention to people that one cannot find light without knowing the dark.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Which reaction do you expect from people that look at your photographs, especially when they usually have nothing to do with arts or photography, from ordinary working class people?

Answer: It is very difficult to know exactly what anybody else feels. My intentions in taking these images are to better understand myself. I do not take photographs to mimic what other people might experience or to predict how they might react. It is just not possible  for me to understand how others will relate to my images.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Which messages are you promoting in your photographs?

Answer: As I get older, the meaning of the human condition is rooted in the realization that ‚knowing more is knowing less.‘ We are doomed to leave this world without any clue as to why we were here, where we came from, and where we are going. This is a fate of utter marginalization.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: You have often been accused of exploiting people for your photographs. What would you answer to people who say that?

Answer: I believe that my photographs are more psychological in meaning. The images represent a psychological culture. At the same time they emanate from my own psyche. I have never considered myself  a photo journalist or a politically orientated photographer. Many of my images represent a universal sense of marginalization, alienation and the inability to cope with the chaos around us. The reason that these images still have meaning to people who know nothing about South African history is that my viewers feel that an aspect of themselves is being reflected in the image.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: In 2010, you have been in Berlin. Which impressions do you have collected from Germany and Germans?

Answer: It is always difficult to generalize about a culture. Nevertheless, I have been very impressed with the cultural dynamics of Berlin.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Roger Ballen, photographer from Johannesburg, thank you very much for this interview and for  providing of your arts!

2010sdafrika-interview with photographer Zanele Muholi:

https://2010sdafrika.wordpress.com/2010/05/31/exklusive-interview-with-zanele-muholi/

Exklusive Interview with Zanele Muholi

Exklusive interview with the if possible most provoking artist of South Africa

(Editor: Ghassan Abid)

© Artist Zanele Muholi

In 1972, Zanele Muholi was born in township Umlazi/Durban. She is  skilled photograph as well activist for women´s rights  and homosexual  relationships. Her photography is presenting black women, especially their intimacy. In conservative South Africa meets this open exposure with the female body with much resistance. In March 2010 was planned, that the Minister of Arts and Culture, Lulu Xingwana, should open an exhibition of black female artists in Johannesburg, but as she had seen photos of Zanele Muholi, she denounced her art as „immoral, pornographic and against nation-building„. In consequence of this feelings she leaved angry this exhibition. However, Zanele Muholi, who is living in a lesbian relationship, is receiving by the international art scene much encouragement, respect and awards. Our South Africa web portal is pleased as much more to interview this „power woman“, who don´t to mince one´s words. Weiterlesen