SA photographer wins big

2015-05-29 12:31
Johannesburg’s Landmark: Ponte City from Yeoville Ridge, from the series Ponte City, 2008
Picture: Mikhael Subotzky & Patrick Waterhouse, Courtesy Goodman Gallery

Johannesburg’s Landmark: Ponte City from Yeoville Ridge, from the series Ponte City, 2008 Picture: Mikhael Subotzky & Patrick Waterhouse, Courtesy Goodman Gallery

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Acclaimed young South African photographer Mikhael Subotzky and British artist Patrick Waterhouse have won this year’s prestigious Deutsche Börse Photography Prize for their evocative book of photos of one of Joburg’s most famous buildings, Ponte City. The duo are over half a million rand richer this morning, and have also won an exhibition at a major London gallery. 

Together they documented Ponte – home to a diverse pan-African inner-city community – for eight years before publishing. 

“This long-term, creatively ambitious project, serves as a compelling metaphor for South African society as it transitioned from the apartheid era to the post-apartheid era and importantly explores the wider issues relating to the global migration of peoples today,” cited Brett Rogers, non-voting chair of the jury and director of The Photographers’ Gallery, where the duo will be showing as part of their prize. 

Competition was fierce among this year’s entrants with South African photographer and activist Zanele Muholi nominated among five artists from across the globe. Muholi’s project Faces and Phases documents the lives of black South African lesbians in installation, black and white images and a book that was released earlier this year. 

Subotzky and Waterhouse were handed the prize at a grand award ceremony held last night at The Photographers’ Gallery. Former winner, South African artist Adam Broomberg, handed Subotzky and Waterhouse their big prize. 

Subotzky is fast becoming a big name in international art circles. He has won a string of young photographer awards including the Standard Bank Young Artist award for visual art in 2012. He is currently showing on the main exhibition at the important Venice Biennale. 

Looking In: Windows, Ponte City, Johannesburg. 2008-2010. Picture: Mikhael Subotzky & Patrick Waterhouse, Courtesy Goodman Gallery

Faces and phases: Lungile Cleo Dladla, Kwa-Thema Community Hall Springs, Johannesburg. From the series Faces and Phases, 2011. Picture: Zanele Muholi, Courtesy of Stevenson, Cape Town and Johannesburg

A new vision: Vuyelwa Vuvu Makubetse, Daveyton, Johannesburg. From the series Faces and Phases, 2013. Picture: Zanele Muholi, Courtesy of Stevenson, Cape Town and Johannesburg




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