David Lurie: Morning After Dark
“Morning After Dark” is a series of urban landscapes of the formal and informal parts of Cape Town, all of which have been photographed in early-morning light, and mostly when no-one was present.
“Morning After Dark” is a series of urban landscapes of the formal and informal parts of Cape Town, all of which have been photographed in early-morning light, and mostly when no-one was present. This initial choice – when the protagonists of the photographs are absent – was deliberate, and something of a departure for me; while recording what is seen, what is shown invokes what or who is not shown. They are, nonetheless, at the centre of this narrative: the true subjects of the photographs are, in this sense, invisible, yet contained within the photographs.
Only much later in the project, and purely by accident, did the opportunity present itself to include people as a prominent element in some of the images, which perhaps paradoxically reinforced and heightened the effect of my original strategy, while adding something eminently poignant to the adventure. What began ostensibly as a documentary project, places I visited in my travels around the city, turned into a visual essay and meditation on time, place, memory and personal history; a mixture of journey and dream, bringing together – for me – the political, the philosophical and poetic. This journey was an intensely personal experience, making observations about what I saw, a photographic diary of sorts, where non-linear and disparate images and symbols of startling modernity are linked to other stories and experiences of increasing chaos, dislocation and displacement in an ever-evolving, bewildering and dizzy co-existence. The images form part of an ongoing book project about urbanization and the marginalized of Cape Town, provisionally entitled The Right to the City, to be published in 2015.