What power can be attributed to photographic images in defining the course of history? And what role do such images have to play in the process of (re)constructing a collective memory of past events? These and other questions come to the fore when looking at the images of South African photographer Santu Mofokeng (b. 1956), exhibited at Foam on the 25th anniversary of democratic elections in South Africa.
Raised in the township of Soweto, Mofokeng photographed daily life under apartheid and after from the inside, painting a nuanced and dynamic portrait of a complex society in transition. The tour will highlight 11 visual stories that each narrate an hour, a week, or sometimes years of everyday life in a rapidly changing political climate. The stories form the starting point for a discussion of Mofokeng’s role as an image maker in a deeply divided society, and the definitive meaning that is attributed to images up until today.
Laying of Hands, Johannesburg-Soweto Line, 1986. Photograph by Santu Mofokeng (b.1956) © Santu Mofokeng Foundation. Image courtesy of Lunetta Bartz, MAKER, Johannesburg and Steidl GmbH.
On Friday evening 15 February you can join the curatorial tour of the exhibition Santu Mofokeng – Stories. While walking through the museum, Joshua Chuang, curator of the New York Public Library and expert on the work of Mofokeng, will go into conversation with Foam curator Hinde Haest about the work and life of this important South African photographer.
18.00 – 18.30 walk-in
18.30 – 19.15 curatorial tour
19.15 – 19.30 questions
19.30 – 21.00 late opening hours
The exhibition Santu Mofokeng – Stories was created in collaboration with Joshua Chuang, Senior Curator at the New York Public Library.
With special thanks to the Santu Mofokeng Foundation. Foam thanks Lunetta Bartz, MAKER and Gerhard Steidl for their advice and involvement.
Foam is supported by the BankGiro Loterij, De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek, Foam Members, Gemeente Amsterdam, Olympus and the VandenEnde Foundation.