Invoice: A Survey Show of the Work of Santu Mofokeng
‘Invoice’ is a survey show of the work of Santu Mofokeng, one of South Africa’s foremost photographers and, according to international curator Simon Njami, “one of the most important photographers of his generation”. The exhibition will include photographs from virtually all his major bodies of work produced in the period between 1982 and 2006, and is designed to coincide with the photographer’s 50th year.
Santu Mofokeng’s photographic career started in 1973 when, while still at school, he started working as a street photographer to make money. He subsequently realised photography’s subversive potential when he saw pictures of the June 16 protests in which he was a participant and witness. In the mid-1980s he joined the Afrapix Collective, an independent photographic agency that played a leading role in documenting popular resistance against Apartheid.
From an early stage, Mofokeng exhibited an independent approach and produced images that refused to be overtly political, but nonetheless contained a fundamental political dimension. His deviations from conventional subject matter have included photographic enquiries into spirituality – a continuing interest that produced the extraordinary series Chasing Shadows – and investigations into the meaning of ’landscape‘ in relation to ownership, power and memory.
Mofokeng has received acknowledgement for his photographic work not only locally but also in the international art world. He has been the recipient of numerous awards and has exhibited extensively in Europe and elsewhere.
Recently he participated in the international travelling exhibition, ‘Africa Remix’ (2004-6), and in 2004 was the only South African chosen to participate among ten foremost international photographers such as Sebastiao Salgado, James Nachtwey and Annie Leibovitz, in Beijing’s Forbidden City International Photography Festival. He has had solo exhibitions of his work in New York and Johannesburg.
‘Invoice’ has been realised through partnerships with the Standard Bank Gallery and Gallery MOMO in Johannesburg, and with Autograph ABP, London.
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