David Goldblatt: Regarding Intersections
“Intersections” is the term David Goldblatt has come to use for the cross-currents of “ideas, values, ethics, postures, people and things”that he has probed for more than 50 years in photographs of his native South Africa. (Mark Haworth-Booth)
Between 1999 and 2011, David Goldblatt did work that he had not previously attempted: personal photography in color. While he had used color extensively in professional work since 1964, he had done almost no personal photography in this medium. But with the new political dispensation as well as technical advances through digital reproduction from film he felt the time was right for him to photograph in color. At first, Goldblatt photographed in his immediate area, Johannesburg. He then decided to look at South Africa by taking photographs within no more than a radius of 500 meters of each of the 122 points of intersection of a whole degree of latitude and a whole degree of longitude within its borders. However, after going to a number of intersections where there was nothing at all that stirred him to photograph, he realized that he was in danger of becoming slave to a formula. After abandoning the initial project he retained the idea of intersections. From time to time, over a period of nine years, he travelled the country in search of intersections-intersections of ideas, values, histories, conflicts, congruencies, fears, joys and aspirations-and the land in which and often because of which these happened.
This book brings together a selection of Goldblatt’s color photography in South Africa from 2002 to 2011. An earlier version, Intersections, was published by Prestel in 2005, and the catalogue Intersections Intersected, consisting of paired black-and-white and color photographs, was published by Serralves Museum, Porto, in 2008.