Malmö Konsthall

David Goldblatt
Intersections Intersected
14 February – 10 May 2009

Without much doubt David Goldblatt is one of the greatest living photographers. He has succeeded in enriching the collective memory with some of the most powerful images of our time and age.

Born in 1930 in Randfontein, South Africa, David Goldblatt started seriously to work as a photographer in 1961. From the beginning his work was informed by apartheid in his home country. The structures of “Lifetimes under Apartheid” (the title of his book of photographs, published in 1986 with texts by Nobel laureate Nadine Gordimer) were the subject matter of his pictures and at the same time they were the decisive condition of his image-making. In an extensive series of pictures that were primarily published in books and magazines, Goldblatt gave a face to the social structures established by the regime of oppression. In black and white he took photos of the disappearing gold mines and their workers close to his home town; he photographed in their environments the impoverished and degraded people in the black township of Soweto, near Johannesburg, the Indian population of Fietas, a Johannesburg neighbourhood that was destroyed by the government under the regulations of the apartheid Group Area Act; he took pictures of the white suburban middle-class in Boksburg close to Cape Town; he recorded the life of the Afrikaners, part of the white population which he envied for their rootedness for more than 300 years in the country and which at the same time he had to make responsible for the implementation of apartheid; and he explored the meaning of built structures in South Africa. Attaching well-researched captions to his pictures, Goldblatt became famous for creating a complex and contradictory tableau of his fractured society.

Unusually the people and the objects that are the subject matter of the black and white photos are enhanced, placed in the middle of the image and shaped by light and shadow, sometimes in a dramatic way. The photographer assumes a middle distance and accords the protagonists of the photograph a comfortable space even when the real place creates dire living conditions. While being passionately opposed to the apartheid regime, Goldblatt didn’t take pictures of the appalling events of the black years of apartheid in South Africa but opted for still images revealing structures that led to those events. Some of his images of precarious conditions even exhibit a celebratory character.

With the end of apartheid, announced in 1990 and implemented through free elections in 1994, the structures that for better or worse had informed Goldblatt’s work for approximately 30 years were not the same anymore. While he had waited for that moment for the better part of his life, for Goldblatt that fundamental change proved deeply unsettling and induced an unexpected feeling of estrangement. When he started again to look at his society after a number of years without photographing, he took pictures of the marks and traces the new society was leaving at the places of its dwelling. He turned to colour photography and allowed himself to make pictures of the landscapes of his African country which before he had considered inappropriate, and printed the images larger than he had ever done with his black and white work. In his colour work Goldblatt merges wide extensions of space that always show marks of the post-apartheid society without being as tightly structured and organized as the work made under apartheid, with the stillness of a state of being that is withdrawn from communication with the photographer and consequently the beholder of the pictures.

The core of the exhibition at Malmö Konsthall is formed by pairings that juxtapose a black and white image taken under apartheid with a colour image from the period after. Sometimes the pairings show the same place 20 years apart. In other cases Goldblatt coupled images of comparable scenes at different moments. Through those pairings Goldblatt introduces a strong element of time in his images of states of being. That time, however, is not uni-linear, it does not unequivocally connect a cause to an effect, it creates unpredictable results. Through pairing his pictures Goldblatt creates a feeling of shifting time and the fundamental indeterminacy of being.

In addition to those pairings, “Intersections Intersected” features images from different series of work, colour and black and white, namely triptychs that show the same location from different angles and images from the series “In the time of AIDS”, as well as approximately 40 images devoted to the city of Johannesburg from all periods of Goldblatt’s career.

“Intersections Intersected” is a dense show containing approximately 100 photographs and representing the most succinct images from Goldblatt’s massive archive covering more than 50 years of work.

Sune Jonsson
And Time Becomes a Wondrous Thing
14/2 – 22/3 2009

Photographer and author Sune Jonsson has been professionally active for more than half a century. With his camera he has explored, depicted and documented life, especially in the villages of northern Sweden. In his works we encounter agricultural practices that nowadays have been made more efficient, expanded or disappeared; rural shops that have been closed down – realities that feel very familiar but also very distant. Above all, we encounter the people whom Sune Jonsson visited and captured with his camera lens.

Like frozen moments in time, Jonsson’s photographs document an age that feels lost but is actually close at hand.

Time is a recurrent theme in Jonsson’s images. The passage of time continues unabated; it waits for no one. Time breaks down and deconstructs but it also creates new people, new societies, new images.

The exhibition title comes from Jonsson’s own introduction to the section entitled “Farbror Viktor än en gång” (Uncle Viktor yet again) in his book Timotejvägen from 1961:

You sit at their kitchen table and like them a lot. And they place their bowl with pictures in front of you … and time becomes a peculiar thing … a wondrous thing.

The exhibition at Malmö Konsthall presents some 70 images that were previously shown in two separate exhibitions: 35 ögonblick and Och tiden blir ett förunderligt ting. The photographs are part of an œuvre that spans a 40-year period beginning in the early 1950s.

Sune Jonsson was born in Nyåker in 1930. In 1961 he was employed by Västerbotten Museum as a photographer and field ethnologist. He worked simultaneously on several books of photographs that depicted the vanishing farming culture of northern Sweden. The exhibition is a joint venture with Västerbotten Museum, which is the custodian of Sune Jonsson’s photographs.

Sune Jonsson has published some 20 books and in 1993 was awarded the prestigious Hasselblad Award for his “outstanding photographic achievement”.

Press preview Thursday February 12, 11 a.m.
Opening Friday February 13, 7-9 p.m.

For futher information please contact
Lena Leeb-Lundberg +46 40 34 12 94 or