The Deutsche Börse is one of the most coveted prizes for contemporary photographers – one of the largest prizes in the UK, winning it can prove pivotal to a photographer’s career. Three of the potential prize winners this year are Michael Subotzky, (b. South Africa) Patrick Waterhouse (b. UK) and Zanele Muholi. (South Africa). This selection of photographs is from their work showing at the Photographer’s Gallery until 7th June 2015.
Mikhael Subotzky (b. 1981, South Africa) and Patrick Waterhouse (b. 1981, UK)Nominated for their publication ‘Ponte City (Steidl, 2014).
Ponte City, a 54-floor apartment block in Johannesburg was built in 1975 for white “sophisticates” under the apartheid and white supremacy regime. During the political transition in the 1990s, it became a refuge for black newcomers and immigrants from all over Africa before decline and neglect led to it being positioned as the prime symbol of urban decay in the city and the epicentre of crime, prostitution and drug dealing. Subotzky and Waterhouse began their project in 2007 working with the remaining residents, after a regeneration project failed. They have created an intimate and deeply evocative social portrait of a culture, building and its community of residents through photographs, architectural plans, and other archival and historical material. An additional sequence of seventeen booklets containing essays and personal stories complete the visual and spatial narrative of this Johannesburg landmark.
1. Mikhael Subotzky Patrick Waterhouse, Untitled #3, Ponte City Johannesburg from the series Ponte City 2008
Courtesy: Goodman Gallery
2. Mikhael Subotzky & Patrick-Waterhouse (Ponte-City-from-Yeoville-Ridge)
3. Mikhael-Subotzky & Patrick-Waterhouse, Untitled #1, Ponte-City Johannesburg from the series Ponte City, 2008, Courtesy: Goodman Gallery
4. Mikhael Subotzky & Patrick Waterhouse l Untitled #4, Ponte City, Johannesburg, 2008 from Ponte City, 2008, Courtesy Goodman Gallery
Zanele Muholi: Nominated for ‘Faces and Phases 2006 – 2014) (Steidl, 2014)
Zanele Muholi (b. 1972, South Africa) A self-titled “visual activist”, Zanele Muholi’s black and white portraits offer an insight into black LGBTI identity and politics in post-apartheid South Africa. Emphasising a conceptual and personal approach, the uncompromising images and accompanying first-person testimonies reflect the impact of homophobia, discrimination and violence, most notably the “curative rape” of black gay women, which often results in murder. Muholi’s archive of photographs forms an important force in female gay activism.
1. Zanele Muholi, Vuyelwa Vuvu Makubetse Daveyton Johannesburg, 2013
2. Zanele Muholi & Kekeletso Khena Green Market Square Cape Town, 2012
3. Zanele Muholi, Lungile Cleo Dladla KwaThema Community Hall Springs Johannesburg, 2011
4. Zanele Muholi l Funeka Soldaat Makhaza Khayelitsha Cape Town, 2010