OUR PICKS OF THE MONTH
Life in the House
The current photo exhibition at the San Francisco
Museum of Modern Art presents the work of three
photographers—two legends and one less well
known—who captured very different perspectives
on life in South Africa before and after the fall of the
apartheid regime. Unlike the encyclopedic show of
South African photography now on view at New York
City’s International Center of Photography, “South
Africa in Apartheid and After: David Goldblatt, Ernest
Cole, Billy Monk,” curated by SFMOMA’s Sandra S.
Phillips, strikes a balance between depth and breadth.
Goldblatt, now in his early 90s, has been a kind
of godfather to many South African photographers
whose work blurs the line between documentary and
fine-art photography, social activism and personal
expression. The SFMOMA show, Goldblatt’s third museum exhibition in as many years, includes his series
© DAvi D golDBl Att/Courtesy the Artist An D gooDmAn g Allery, south AFri CA
“In Boksburg,” his sometimes surreal look at life in a white suburb from 1979 to 1980, as well as more recent
landscapes. Cole’s House of Bondage, published in 1966 to international acclaim but banned in his own country,
is a landmark in the history of documentary photography. Before he managed to flee South Africa (by getting
his racial classification officially changed from “black” to “colored”), Cole created an unflinching document of
the indignities and humiliations endured by blacks living under apartheid.
The SFMOMA show includes many images from the book, and several
photos never before seen in the U.S.
Monk worked in the 1960s as a bouncer and photographer in the Cape
Town nightclub known as The Catacombs, where interracial and same-sex
couples found a respite from the country’s oppressive laws and mores.
His intimate, empathetic photos of revelers, singers, cuddling couples and
passed-out drunks are sometimes funny, often poignant. They demonstrate
the ingenuity with which South Africans coped with the oppression that
permeated every aspect of society.
“Eyesight testing at the Vosloorus Eye Clinic of the
Boksburg Lions Club,” 1980, by David Goldblatt.
“South Africa in Apartheid
and After: David Goldblatt,
Ernest Cole, Billy Monk”
San Francisco Museum of
Through March 5
151 Third Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
Port of Entry
For refugees who are being resettled in the United States from countries all over the world, their first experience
here often involves a night in an airport hotel in cities like New York, Newark, Chicago, Miami or Los Angeles.
As a long-term project, photojournalist Gabriele Stabile and reporter Juliet Linderman photographed
refugees in their hotel rooms as they passed their first
hours in the United States, and recorded their stories.
Then last year Stabile and Linderman reinterviewed and
rephotographed the refugees in order to tell the story of
how they have settled in their new communities.
The result of that work is gathered in Refugee Hotel,
their new book published as part of Voice of Witness, the
non-profit book series founded by writer Dave Eggers,
which publishes works that address the impact of social
injustice through the use of oral histories.
© g ABriele stABile
A new book gathers Gabriele Stabile’s photos
of refugees at airport motels during their first
hours in the U.S.
“Just as the banks of Ellis Island once served as the
gateway to America for millions
of European immigrants, these
hotels serve as a gateway to a
new, unfamiliar life for refugees
in the twenty-first century,”
write Stabile and Linderman in
their introduction to the book.
By Gabriele Stabile
and Juliet Linderman
Voice of Witness
Softcover, 296 pages
The latest exhibition at Los Angeles’s Annenberg
Space for Photography presents the work of several
photographers who have depicted indigenous
cultures throughout the world, from Tibet to Borneo
to South Dakota. Called “No Strangers: Ancient
Wisdom in a Modern World,” the group exhibition
is guest curated by Wade Davis, an anthropologist,
author and photographer whose work is also included
in the show.
Other photographers featured in the exhibition,
which is open through February 24, include Carol
Beckwith & Angela Fisher, Chris Johns, Lynn Johnson,
Steve McCurry, Randy Olson, Chris Rainier and Hamid
Sardar. Images from several other photographers
are also part of the show, as is an original, short
documentary about the work of the featured
photographers. Several lectures, which include some
of the exhibited photographers, are also taking place
throughout the run of the show.
For those who can’t make it to the exhibition, the
Annenberg Space has also produced a catalogue.
“No Strangers: Ancient Wisdom in a Modern World”
Through February 24
Annenberg Space for Photography
2000 Avenue of the Stars #10
Los Angeles, CA 90067
© Angel A Fisher & CArol BeCk with
A 2006 photograph by Angela Fisher & Carol Beckwith of
a Dinka boy from South Sudan caring for his animals.