Figures & Fictions: Contemporary South African Photography @ V&A

V&Aで4月12日から7月17日まで開催中の「Figures & Fictions: Contemporary South African Photography」を観た。この展覧会では、南アフリカに住み、活動を続ける17人の写真家によって、写真文化が花開いたアパルトヘイト終了後の2000年から2010年に撮影された作品を展示されている。

悪名高いアパルトヘイトが導入された国民党の支配下の1948年から1994年の間、写真は国家によって人種分類を管理するために利用されたが、同時に人種差別法と人種隔離政策下の人々の生活や抵抗の記録としても使われた。現代の南アフリカ人写真家は、新しく生まれ変わった南アフリカ、高い犯罪率と大きな貧富の差を内在しつつも、経済発展と強まる政治的パワーを享受する、民主的で多様な文化を持つこの国に生きる人々を写し出している。Figures & Fiction展に展示されている作品は、階級、政治、人種やジェンダー・アイデンティティ、日常生活、家族、ファッション、宗教、旧植民地としての歴史、そして弱まったとは言え未だに存在する過去の権力(=金持ちエリート白人)など、様々な観点から現代南アフリカの姿を描きだす。

カリスマ的なネルソン・マンデラを筆頭に、自由と平等を求め、少数派の白人による抑圧と戦う多数派の黒人たちといった、ステレオタイプのイメージとは全く違った、変化の途上にある現代南アフリカの息吹を感じられる、カラフルで興味深い展覧会。

I saw an exhibition “Figures & Fictions: Contemporary South African Photography” (April 12 – July 17) at V&A. The exhibition presents the work of 17 South African photographers who live and work in the country and the photographs on display were taken between 2000 and 2010 in post- apartheid period, when vibrant and sophisticated photographic culture has emerged.

Under National Party rule from 1948 to 94 and the implementation of notorious racial segregation, photography was used by the State to manage racial classification, but also served to document resistance and record the lives of people under racial laws and social segregation. The post-Apartheid photographers depict people in ‘new’ South Africa; culturally diverse, and vibrant democratic country with emerging economic and political power, yet facing high crime rate and big gap between rich and poor. The photographs on display addresses the variety of issues that post-Apartheid South Africa facing; class, politics, racial and gender identities, everyday life of people, family, fashion, religion, colonial history, and less dominant yet still existing ‘old power’ in the society.

Colourful and interesting exhibition that you can feel vibe of modern South African in transition. Forget about stereotypical image of the country where majority black South African led by charismatic Nelson Mandela, fighting with unreasonable oppression for freedom and equality!

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One response to “Figures & Fictions: Contemporary South African Photography @ V&A

  1. Anonymous

    Hey guys, if anyone is interested in seeing this exhibition there are some reviews of it here http://artswrap.co.uk/event/figures-fictions-contemporary-south-african-photography-victoria-and-albert-museum-2011
    It’s a fascinating insight into living in South Africa, with photographs taken over a period of ten years by photographers who wanted to capture what it is truly like living in South Africa at this time. I would definitely recommend it!

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