Study Visit: Ponte City

Join Wendy McMurdo on the 7 March at the National Galleries Scotland.

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In architectural jargon, verticality is king. From the Great Pyramid of Giza to the once-towering mediaeval spire of Lincoln Cathedral and on to London’s Shard, we have always built taller for impact, prestige and ground-space economy.

It was prestige and land pressure that guided the conception some 50-odd years ago of what was once Africa’s tallest building, Ponte City in Johannesburg, now the subject of an exhibition by South African photographer Mikhael Subotzky and British artist Patrick Waterhouse.¹

Subotzky and Wabegan working at the monolithic block in 2007 and over the next five years they returned repeatedly to document the building: photographing every door in the multi-level structure and the view from every window; archiving the lives of the residents, from capturing what they were watching on TV to gathering discarded belongings.Cumulatively the work provides a cross-section of an iconic South African landmark that continues to symbolise the hopes and fears of the country’s most populous city, and in turn, this post-apartheid nation.

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To book your place email enquiries@oca.ac.uk

 

 

¹ Extracted from the Herald Scotland

Image Credits: Featured:Ponte City from Yeoville Ridge, Mikhael Subotzky & Patrick Waterhouse, 2008 – courtesy Goodman Gallery © Magnum Photos

Cleaning the Core, Ponte City, Johannesburg, Mikhael Subotzky & Patrick Waterhouse, 2008 – courtesy Goodman Gallery © Magnum Photos

Untitled 3, Ponte City, Johannesburg, Mikhael Subotzky & Patrick Waterhouse, 2008 – courtesy Goodman Gallery © Magnum Photos

All National Galleries Scotland

5 Comments

  1. standickinson 9 February 2015 at 6:05 pm

    A small group of OCA students saw this exhibition in Paris, last April, at Le Bal in Montmartre – a really excellent exhibition, not just for its subject matter, which is interesting enough in itself, but also in the way it was presented, which seems to vary significantly at each installation (probably a better word for it, actually). My own write-up on it is mid-way through a blog post, here http://standickinson.com/2014/04/19/paris-in-the-springtimeepisode-two/ and other students who were there may have their own write-ups.

    Recommended!

    Reply
  2. Richard Brown 9 February 2015 at 6:27 pm

    I second that Stan, definitely recommended. Be interesting to see how its done in Scotland.

    Reply
  3. Hazel Bingham 11 March 2015 at 3:08 pm

    I thoroughly enjoyed the visit and also meeting up with Scottish students. We questioned how the images may be displayed in other venues and whether the effect would be the same especially the very tall one shown as a light box in Steph’s comment above. The Scottish version were images attached to a white wall.

    Reply

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