In the catalogue for this exhibition, the writer Nadine Gordimer describes the photographs by David Goldblatt (Randfontein, South Africa, 1930), as having “an unstated political significance that goes before and grows beyond the obvious images – they reveal the violence against human beings repeated, endlessly, in the continuity of daily life.”
David Goldblatt. Fifty-one years was the first retrospective exhibition of David Goldblatt’s work to be held in Spain. It included 220 photographs produced between 1948 and 1999, which put forward a critical analysis of South African society, its recent history and its dismal links to apartheid policies. And Goldblatt confronted it with an oblique, transversal gaze that explored the pathologies of violence as it is played out in everyday situations.
The exhibition tackled some of the main subjects that Goldblatt works with: work in the goldmines; the long, slow rides from home to work of people segregated by apartheid laws; the life of the white community in a small provincial city; a portrait of Afrikaners; the ideological undercurrent behind architectural forms; and the daily life in Johannesburg.
This retrospective exhibition will be the first presentation in Spain of the work of David Goldblatt. It includes about two hundred photographs by the South African author, who has collected half a century of meticulous observation of the reality of his country, from 1948 to 1999. For David Goldblatt photography is a tool that enables him to analyse social and cultural structures. His photographic documents make a detailed investigation of the tensions and fictions typical of city and country life in South Africa. Altogether they make up an impressive testimonial of a contemporary African society, coming from the industrial revolution, which has provided an outstanding example for studying how colonialism and apartheid can evolve.