Mikhael Subotzky & Patrick Waterhouse


Gallery News for Mikhael Subotzky & Patrick Waterhouse

Mikhael Subotzky and Patrick Waterhouse are shortlisted for the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2015

Mikhael Subotzky and Patrick Waterhouse are shortlisted for their publication Ponte City (Steidl, 2014) for the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2015. The publication comprises 17 booklets containing essays and personal stories that complete a narrative of the well-known Johannesburg landmark. The annual award of £30,000 rewards living photographers, of any nationality, for a specific body of work in an exhibition or publication format, which is felt to have significantly contributed to photography in Europe between October 2013 and September 2014.

Subotzky & Waterhouse in Scotland

Mikhael Subotzky and Patrick Waterhouse’s photographic exploration of the changing fortunes of Ponte City, the tallest residential building in Africa, is exhibited at the Photography Gallery at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh, from 6 December 2014 to 26 April 2015. The only scheduled showing of the Ponte City collection in the United Kingdom, the exhibition is accompanied by the Steidl publication Ponte City which was nominated for a Paris-Photo Aperture Foundation Photo book Award 2014.

Ponte City | Mikhael Subotzky and Patrick Waterhouse

Rising 54 storeys high, Ponte City is the tallest residential building in Africa. Since 1975 this iconic structure has punctuated the Johannesburg skyline, originally offering cosmopolitan living for white South Africa. In the post-apartheid years the building became more integrated, with many people relocating from townships and recently it has become home for immigrants from other African countries. In 2007 developers planned a major refurbishment of the tower block; although the renovation began it was never completed—leaving the structure in a semi-destructed state, while tenants, those who had not yet been evicted or were simply squatting, still occupied flats in the block.

It was during this time period that the tower became the subject of a creative collaboration between South African photographer, Mikhael Subotzky and British artist, Patrick Waterhouse. They interviewed the remaining tenants and recorded the half-occupied building through a series of photographs and a collection of documents and other debris from the abandoned units. They began working at the monolithic block in 2007 and over the next five years they returned repeatedly to document the building: photographing every door in the multi-level structure and the view from every window; archiving the lives of the residents, from capturing what they were watching on TV to gathering discarded belongings. Cumulatively the work provides a cross-section of an iconic South African landmark that continues to symbolize the hopes and fears of the country’s most populous city, and in turn, this post-apartheid nation.

These images of Ponte City are featured in an exhibition that will open at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery on 6 December 2014 and will be the only UK showing. The exhibition is accompanied by the Steidl publication, Ponte City, which is nominated for a Paris Photo-Aperture Foundation Photobook Award 2014.

Mikhael Subotzky (b.1981) graduated with distinction from the Michaelis School of Fine Art at the University of Cape Town. He is an associate of Magnum Photographs and his work is included in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the South African National Gallery, Cape Town and Victoria & Albert Museum, London. Patrick Waterhouse (b. 1981) graduated with a BA from the Camberwell College of Art in 2003. He works in different media including drawings, prints, photographs, and artist’s books. He has published a fully illustrated version of Dante’s Inferno.

The exhibition is organized by Le Bal, Paris and Foto Museum, Antwerp.

Subotzky & Waterhouse At Fomu

Following on from its debut at Le Bal in Paris, Mikhael Subotzky and Patrick Waterhouse’s exhibition Ponte City opened at FoMU in Anwerp on 27 June 2014. The exhibition is the last and epic project by Subotzky and Waterhouse focussed on this single Johannesburg building. Ponte City has been the symbol of prosperity under apartheid and white supremacy, of the collapse of the city center in the 1990s, and finally of the multi-ethnic renewal in this new century: it has witnessed the throes of a never-ending changing society. The exhibition runs until 11 September 2014.

More news

Press for Mikhael Subotzky & Patrick Waterhouse

Mikhael Subotzky / Art South Africa / South Africa / September 2014

In Conversation: Ross Douglas & Silvia Pillon by Art South Africa (325.1 KB)

Mikhael Subotzky / Art Practical / New York / 29 April 2014

Public Intimacy: Art and Other Ordinary Acts in South Africa, Ponte City By Larissa Archer (947.1 KB)
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    Mikhael Subotzky with Patrick Waterhouse / Recent Works

    Mikhael Subotzky / Two Projects: Jan Smuts

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