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Book Launch | David Goldblatt: No Ulterior Motive

David Krut Bookstore and Jonathan Ball Publishing are delighted to be hosting the book launch for David Goldblatt No Ulterior Motive on the 3rd of February this year. Published by Yale University Press, in conjunction with The Art Institute of Chicago, this book coincides with a traveling retrospective of the photographer’s work.

David Goldblatt was one of South Africa’s most prolific photographers, working primarily in the field of documentary photography. Throughout his career, Goldblatt focused on depicting the complex nature of South Africa’s political and social life. He did not believe in photographers using their craft “as a weapon”, rather, he believed that it was a photographers duty to peer beneath the surface of things, and to go beyond it, and in that way, make an argument against apartheid rule in South Africa.

He is known for his photograph series documenting black workers who traveled between homelands and cities like Pretoria for work (The Transported of The Transported of KwaNdebele: a South African Odyssey), as well as his series focusing on the mines run by the Anglo-American corporation (On the Mines) and his series focusing on white-middle class life in the suburbs of Johannesburg (In Boksburg). He is, perhaps, most famous for his series looking at Afrikaners in South Africa (Some Afrikaners Photographed).

He co-founded the Market Photo Workshop in 1989. In 2004 he received the Arles Book Prize for his book Particulars and in 2006 he was given the Hasselblad Foundation International Award in Photography. In 2009 the Henri Cartier-Bresson Award was also awarded to him. He hold honorary doctorates from 3 Universities. He passed away on the 25th of June 2018. He is survived by his wife Lily and their three children.

The launch will be taking place at our premises at 151 Jan Smuts Avenue at 11am. There will be refreshments provided as well as light snacks. The discussion will be held between a panel of four and will then be opened up to questions and discussion from the audience.

The panel will be moderated by Cape Town-born artist and writer Terry Kurgan. Kurgan’s photographic work looks at how and why a photograph came to be made, and how its meaning continues to affect those who now receive and view it. She works with public and private image collections and has written a number of books in conjunction with her body of visual art work, which consists of photography, installation and drawing. Her first book of creative non-fiction Everyone is Present was shortlisted for the Photo Arles Book Prize in 2019 and eon the Sunday Times Alan Paton Award. She is currently a Research Associate at the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research (WiSER) at the University of the Witwatersrand.

Joining Terry Kurgan on the panel is the South African photographer Ruth Seopedi Motau. Motau was the first black woman photographer to be employed as a photo-editor. She was employed at The Mail and Guardian from 1995 to 2002. She later went on to work as the photo-editor for The Sowetan from 2004 – 2008 and in 2008 she went to work at City Press until 2010. She studied her craft at the Market Photo Workshop rom 1990 to 1993. She is best known for her documentation of South African social and political life. Her work primarily focuses on the diverse activities present in the communities where she has lived. In 2001 she won the SABC award for Women Who Made a Difference in the Media and the 1997 Freedom Forum Fellowship from Rhodes University. Ruth has also contributed to the text in No Ulterior Motive.

In Addition, the panel will feature street and documentary photographer Andile Bhala. Based in Soweto, Bhala captures most of his photo in Soweto and Joburg’s Business Distract. His work aims to capture the duality and contrasts of life in South Africa. He is drawn to the moments that capture this, and aims to show it in his photography. His work focuses on social issues and social justice. He feels that his work allows him to exist as an observer, one who documents life i all aspects. He was a runner up at Open Society Foundation’s “social justice through my lens” in June 2016. He was also a finalist for the Standard Bank Gallery’s “Portraits in Progress” competition.

Finally, our panel will be completed by the presence of David Goldblatt’s daughter, Brenda who will be joining us to discuss her father’s life and work. Brenda Goldblatt has worked as an editor on a number of her fathers books, including David Goldblatt: The Last Interview and Ex Offenders At the Scene of the Crime.

For more information on the book, please check out our wonderful review written by Hendrik Fourie.

If you are interested in attending the launch RSVP by the 25th of January at [email protected].

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