Freedom Square: here, in the time of apartheid, on 26 June 1955, under harassment by the police, some 3000 people of all races, from all over South Africa, gathered in a Congress of the People and adopted the Freedom Charter, a template for the governance of a non-racial, democratic South Africa. The Charter became the basis of South Africa’s democratic constitution. Kliptown, Soweto, Johannesburg. 10 December 2003 (4_9056), 2003 Digital Prints on 100% cotton rag paper
This monument, covering what was Freedom Square, commemorates the Congress of the People in 1955. Costing R160 million it has a hotel, conference centre, auditorium , galleries, shops, museum, plaza for informal traders, conical tower in which the Freedom Charter is displayed. The community of Kliptown in whose midst it was built, were not consulted. Most of the facilities are hardly used. Fearing that tourists might confuse Freedom Park, Pretoria with Freedom Square, Kiptown, the branding experts named it instead, the Walter Sisulu Square of Dedication. Sisulu had very little to do with this place. Kliptown, Soweto, 22 June 2006 (4_9875), 2005 Digital Prints on 100% cotton rag paper
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The Goodman Gallery is pleased to have presented an exhibition of works by David Goldblatt. This exhibition, entitled Joburg, show cased photographs by Goldblatt from 1960’s to the present time.
David Goldblatt is renowned for his documentation of the progress of societal changes and how these impact on the landscape and South African communities, without being judgmental. His works are widely collected, both locally and abroad, in public and private collections. His work is a real statement about the changes currently taking place in South Africa.
Goldblatt has said about the show, “Over the years I have become interested in different aspects of the city. Some of these photographs I have not printed before, some I have not exhibited before, some I showed at the Market Theatre Photography Gallery in the 70s and 80s, others I have shown more recently. Together they come from attempts to get to grips with something of the life and places of this city.”
The exhibition included early black and white images of Johannesburg, some of which had never been seen before, as well as Soweto, Structures, and more recent colour works from the Johannesburg Intersections series.
The exhibition opened on the 26th of April 2008 at noon and closed on 24th of May 2008.
David Goldblatt (b.1930, Randfontein, South Africa) chronicled the structures, people and landscapes of his country from 1948 – through the rise of Afrikaner Nationalism, the apartheid regime and into the democratic era – until his death in June 2018. Goldblatt’s photography examines how South Africans have expressed their values through the structures, physical and ideological, that they have built. In 1989, Goldblatt founded the Market Photography Workshop in Johannesburg. In 1998 he was the first South African to have a solo exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. In 2001, a retrospective of his work, David Goldblatt Fifty-One Years began a tour of galleries and museums. He was one of the few South African artists to exhibit at Documenta 11 (2002) and Documenta 12 (2007) in Kassel, Germany. He has held solo exhibitions at the Jewish Museum and the New Museum, both in New York. His work was included in the exhibition ILLUMInations at the 54th Venice Biennale in 2011, and has featured on shows at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and Barbican Centre in London and in 2018, a major retrospective at the Centre Pompidou in Paris. Goldblatt is the recipient of the 2006 Hasselblad award, the 2009 Henri Cartier-Bresson Award, the 2013 ICP Infinity Award and in 2016, he was awarded the Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres by the Ministry of Culture of France.