In 2022 Goodman Gallery returns to Photo London with two presentations by South African artist Mikhael Subotzky. Exemplary photographs from three major bodies of work will be shown in a solo booth alongside the award-winning Ponte City project by Subotzky and Patrick Waterhouse. The solo presentation brings together key works across Subotzky’s oeuvre, spanning early photographic projects including Die Vier Hoeke (2004-2005), Beaufort West (2006-2008) and Retinal Shift (2012).
Before Subotzky expanded his practice to include film-making and painting, his primary medium, which gained him international prominence, was photography. In the tradition of documentary photography pioneered by the late David Goldblatt, Subotzky sought out spaces on the social margins which carry the legacy of structural violence. As part of a generation capturing South Africa, Subotzky wielded his lens as a means to investigate the politics of identity and representation.
Ponte City (2008-2011)
Between 2008 and 2011, Mikhael Subotzky and Patrick Waterhouse photographed every window, door and television screen in Johannesburg’s most famous residential tower block, Ponte City, a building that has come to symbolize the best and the worst of the city’s past, present and future. The resulting archive of over 2000 images has found form in several distinct ways – as an installation, as lightboxes, as multi-channel projections, and as individual photographic prints. In 2015, Subotzky and Waterhouse were awarded the prestigious Deutsche Börse Photography Prize for Ponte City.
Goodman Gallery will premiere a newly assembled lightbox from Ponte City at Photo London this year, which looks into the building’s core through every internal window of the 54-storey tower.
About Mikhael Subotzky
Mikhael Subotzky (b. 1981, Cape Town, South Africa) is a Johannesburg-based artist who works across mediums - film installation, video, photography, collage and painting. His practice engages critically with the instability of images and the politics of representation.
In 2020 Subotzky was named in Apollo’s 40 Under 40 Africa list as one of four artists from the African continent or diaspora who are transforming the way that art is made and experienced. Subotzky’s work also featured in the recent Tate publication Photography Now (2020) by Charlotte Jansen.
He has exhibited in a number of important international exhibitions, including most recently Masculinities: Liberation through Photography at the Barbican in London (2020), Inheritance: Recent Video Art from Africa at the Fowler Museum (UCLA) in Los Angeles (2019) and Ex Africa in
Brazil (2017-18). His award-winning Ponte City project (co-authored with Patrick Waterhouse) was presented at Art Basel Unlimited in 2018. The full exhibition and archive of this project has since been acquired by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Subotzky’s work is collected widely by international institutions, including the Museum of Modern Art (New York), Solomon R Guggenheim Museum (New York), the National Gallery of Art (Washington), Tate (London), Centre Pompidou (Paris), the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the South African National Gallery, among others. Subotzky’s work was included in Lubumbashi (2013) and Liverpool (2012) biennials. Pixel Interface, a multi-component video installation, was included in All The World’s Futures, curated by Okwui Enwezor at the 56th Venice Biennale (2015). In June 2022, Goodman Gallery London will host a solo exhibition of Subotzky, premiering a new film and paintings.
About Patrick Waterhouse
Patrick Waterhouse (b. 1981, England) is an artist who explores the shifting nature of our understanding of the past. Through processes that play with narrative representation, his work sheds light on the construction of history and its origins. Collaboration is integral to Waterhouse’s practice, informing and shaping the trajectory of his projects as the work forms through conversation and engagement with those represented and the communities in which they live. In the making of Restricted Images, Waterhouse lived and worked with the Warlpiri communities of Yuendemu and Nyiripi over a five-year period, taking photographs and then inviting community members to restrict their images using traditional dot painting. By drawing people into the process of their representation, the project renegotiates notions of agency in photography and art.
Waterhouse’s work has been exhibited internationally in institutions including FotoMuseum, Antwerpen (2019); The Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao (2016); National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C (2015); The Photographers’ Gallery, London (2015); The National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh (2014); Le Bal, Paris (2014); Biennale de Lubumbashi, DR Congo (2013); The International Center of Photography Triennial, New York (2013); Liverpool Biennial, Liverpool (2012); The Museum für Gestaltung, Zürich (2011) and South African National Gallery, Cape Town (2010). His work is held in major public and private collections including Solomon R Guggenheim Museum, New York; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco: Centre Pompidou, Paris; The National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C and The Walther Collection, Neu-Ulm, Germany. Awards include the Discovery Award at Rencontres de la Photographie, Arles in 2011 and the Deutsche Borse Photography Prize in 2015 for Ponte City (with Mikhael Subotzky).