South Africa.
The Structure of Things Then.


Photographs by David Goldblatt. With an essay by Neville Dubow.
The Monacelli Press, New York, English, 1998. 260 pp., numerous b&w illustrations,, 11x12¼".



Publisher's Description
South Africa: The Structure of Things Then is the culmination of fifteen years of photography, research, and writing by acclaimed South African photographer David Goldblatt. In more than 130 evocative black-and-white photographs, Goldblatt probes the relationships between South African structures and the forces that shaped the society from 1652 to 1990, a period he calls the Era of Baasskap, or white domination. His seminal exploration compels a reexamination of South Africa's cultural heritage as manifested in its structures. The hopes and fears of the builders are captured alongside their buildings.

In his introduction and in the extended captions to the photographs, Goldblatt gives fascinating insight into the meaning of the structures, and the context from which each photograph emerged. Goldblatt's more than thirty years of experience imbue his carefully composed images with meaningful cultural overtones. The work is complemented by Neville Dubow's illuminating critical appraisal, 'Constructs: Reflections on a Thinking Eye.'

David Goldblatt has been a professional photographer since 1962. His work on South Africa has been exhibited widely and is included in the permanent collections of the South African National Gallery in Cape Town, the University of South Africa, the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Goldblatt's previous publications include On the Mines, Lifetimes: Under Apartheid (both with Nadine Gordimer), Some Afrikaners Photographed, In Boksburg, and The Transported of KwaNdebele.

Neville Dubow is a professor of fine art at the University of Cape Town.

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