Standard Bank Young Artist for Visual Art 2007 Pieter Hugo: 'Messina/Musina'
‘Messina/Musina’ is the body of work that the photographer Pieter Hugo produced as Standard Bank Young Artist of the Year in 2007. The title reflects the transitional character of the community that the works represent. Formerly known as Messina, the town was renamed to correct a colonial misspelling. It lies on the highway that runs from South Africa to Zimbabwe and Zambia and attracts truckers, migrant labourers for the diamond mine and farms in the area, refugees and smugglers from neighbouring countries, and a concomitant military and police presence. European and American tourists are also drawn to local game hunting. A community constantly in flux, Hugo found that many of those he had photographed had left the area a year later.
Using a large-format camera, a slow process that demands a close interaction with the subject, and referencing the aesthetic of the commissioned family portrait, Hugo considers difference and sameness between individuals and groups.
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