Saturday, August 2, 2014

From South Africa, Uganda to Prospect.3

From South Africa to Uganda, two photographers and film makers at Prospect.3.

Pieter Hugo

Born in 1976 in Johannesburg, South Africa, Pieter Hugo is a self-taught photographer based in Cape Town. His interest in photography started at an early age when he received his first camera at 10 years old. He explains why he has chosen portraiture as his main practice:
"I am six foot tall. I have blond hair and blue eyes. I stick out like a sore thumb in the locations I visit. I quickly realized that the traditional photo-journalistic approach of capturing a fleeting moment wasn't going to work for me. Firstly, my reflexes are too slow and secondly I am not a fly on the wall, I have a presence."
 His is considered a leading photographer in Africa, known for his socially and politically charged works which include depictions of Albinism (2003-2006) to documentation of the aftermath of the massacres in Rwanda in 1994 (2004). His most famous series The Hyena and Other Men (2005-2007) is about
a group of itinerant animal handlers, peddlers and performers he followed during a two years period, living with them several weeks at a time to understand their culture and thinking.
Pieter Hugo professes skepticism toward the "power of photography": "I am of a generation that approaches photography with a keen awareness of the problems inherent in pointing a camera at anything."

Major museum solo exhibitions have taken place at The Hague Museum of Photography, Musée de l’Elysée in Lausanne, Ludwig Museum in Budapest, Fotografiska in Stockholm,  MAXXI in Rome and the Institute of Modern Art Brisbane, among others. Hugo has participated in numerous group exhibitions at institutions including Tate Modern, the Folkwang Museum, Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, and the São Paulo Bienal. His work is represented in prominent public and private collections, among them the Museum of Modern Art, V&A Museum, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art, J Paul Getty Museum, Walther Collection, Deutsche Börse Group, Folkwang Museum and Huis Marseille. Hugo received the Discovery Award at the Rencontres d’Arles Festival and the KLM Paul Huf Award in 2008, the Seydou Keita Award at the Rencontres de Bamako African Photography Biennial in 2011, and was shortlisted for the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2012.

Zarina Bhimji

Zarina Bhimji was born in Mbarara, Uganda in 1963 to Indian parents and moved to Britain in 1974, two years after the expulsion of Uganda’s Asian community in the Idi Amin era. She is a photographer and film maker working in London and Berlin.
Zarina Bhimji was educated at Leicester Polytechnic (1982 – 1983), Goldsmith's College (1983 – 1986) and  Slade School of Fine Art, University College London (1987 – 1989).  Following a post-graduate program, she became an Artist in Residence at Darwin College in Cambridge.
In her works, she intermingles reflections on colonialism, global migration, diaspora, persecutions through images referring to cultural memory like dilapidated architectures, abandoned interior spaces and personal narrative. India and East Africa are her sources for inspirations and in Out of the Blue commissioned and produced by Documenta 11 in 2002, she returned to Uganda to film the ruins left by Idi Amin's reign of terror. Yellow Patch (2011) was inspired by trade and migration across the Indian Ocean and communicates the same aura of decay and abandonment. She was nominated for the Turner Prize in 2007 and was the subject of a mid-career retrospective tracing 25 years of her work at Whitechapel Gallery in 2012.

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