‘Between Darkness & Light’ by Jodi Bieber
The visual poetry and politics of humanity is the enduring interest of photographer Jodi Bieber, and in a country like South Africa – with its violent history of apartheid, its ambivalent transition to democracy and its fraught position today – there is no greater opportunity to envision the effects of these three very different periods on the people that call this country home. Between Darkness and Light, Bieber’s mid-career retrospective, spans the years from 1993 (the year preceding South Africa’s transition to democracy) until 2010. The exhibition includes close to 100 photographs from eight of Bieber’s key projects, and shows a selection of works from both celebrated and rarely seen independent series.
Photographs made in the years between 1994 and 2004 show Bieber exploring the country of her birth; later works reflect on the intangible character of identity politics; and the most recent images are an attempt to envision the contemporary concept of hope. Her visual language is distinctive in its fluidity, defying the rigid delimitations of photojournalism, documentary photography and visual art.
Bieber writes that, “Through my projects I faced the harshness that so many people encounter, and the resilience of the human spirit. I’ve learnt that we all have two sides and, depending on the changing circumstances of our lives, one side might overshadow the other.”
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