Bystanders (2008) is a series of extreme close-up portraits
re-appropriated from South African newspaper archives. The portraits,
taken with my Nokia cellular telephone, are of background characters
caught in photographs reporting on historical events in South African
These marginal bystanders perform as a metaphor for the experience
of seeing myself, as a young South African, in the background of a
complex national history manifesting itself.
The haunting and lyrical portraits have a momentum mori quality
bringing attention to the occasionally violent crop of the camera
and the formal pixelated quality of the images, done intentionally
as a means of breaking down an image into it smallest form, acts as
an annotation of both surveillance and forensic photography.
exhibitions and exposure
This work was printed onto newsprint and was installed along 7 blocks in St Georges Mall in Cape Town as part of Infecting the City Public Arts Festival Cape Town 2014. The work was made to imitate newspaper poster boards, which put the images that were taken from newspaper archives back into circulation.
Wits University Staff Group Show for the WALE (Wits Art and Literature
Experience) with Jo Ractliffe, Penny Siopis, Karel Nel, Jeremy Wafer
and Robert Hodgins in Johannesburg 2008.
Unnatural History as part of the Month of Photography with
Inge Prins and Anonia Steyn at the MutiGallery in Cape Town 2008.
Group Summer Show at the iArt Gallery with artists Wilma
Cruise, Diane Victor, Paul Emsely, Colbert Mashile and William Kentridge
in Cape Town 2008.
Director Miles Goodall from Suburban Films directed a documentary
film called Kool South featuring a group of contemporary
South African artists and showcasing Bystanders.
Maputo curators meeting organised and funded by the Goethe Institute
where the work was presented to curators namely Kwesi Gule, Colette
Olof, Simon Njami, Akin Bode, and Bisi Silva.
Bisi Silva (The Centre for Contemporary Art Lagos, Nigeria) exhibited
the work as part of a show In Light of Play shown at the
Durban Art Gallery in 2009 and the Johannesburg Art Fair 2009.