On Common Ground: David Goldblatt & Peter Magubane

About

Goodman Gallery Johannesburg
28 July – 18 August 2018

Curated by Paul Weinberg

On Common Ground marks an historic moment as the work of two of South Africa’s most renowned photographers, David Goldblatt and Peter Magubane, are to be exhibited side-by-side for the first time.

With both photographers in their late eighties, this is a poignant moment to reflect on their respective legacies. Curator and photographer Paul Weinberg brings works by these veterans into direct conversation, using the gallery space to mirror major and lesser-known bodies of work that present Goldblatt and Magubane’s astute and distinct approaches to photography within the context of a shared pull to document apartheid South Africa and the post-1994 period of democracy.

For Magubane, this urgency to document grew from a sense of anger and personal oppression: ‘I did not want to leave the country to find another life. I was going to stay and fight with my camera as my gun. I did not want to kill anyone, though. I wanted to kill apartheid.’

Known for his ‘steely resolve [and] unrelenting gaze’ (Mail & Guardian), Magubane made his name as a photojournalist at a time when navigating South Africa as a black photographer was loaded with risk, exacting a heavy toll when he was detained and served 586 days of solitary confinement in 1969.

Whereas Magubane operated on the front-line – seeking to ‘defeat this animal apartheid’ and show the world what was happening by positioning himself amid violent protests and daring to point his lens at white South Africans, Goldblatt tended to focus his camera on quieter, yet equally poignant features of the apartheid regime.

In Goldblatt’s own words: ‘During those years my prime concern was with values – what did we value in South Africa, how did we get to those values and how did we express those values. I was very interested in the events that were taking place in the country as a citizen but, as a photographer, I’m not particularly interested, and I wasn’t then, in photographing the moment that something happens. I’m interested in the conditions that give rise to events.’

According to Goodman Gallery owner and director Liza Essers: ‘This exhibition has been five years in the making. For me, Goldblatt and Magubane, while so different in their approaches, are two of the most iconic and important photographers of our time, particularly for their documenting of apartheid. By exhibiting them together for the first time, we present a unique journey through these photographers’ archives. On Common Ground also marks one of a small handful of exhibitions for Magubane in a gallery setting. Through this exhibition, we hope to address the historical oversight that Magubane has, in his lifetime, received such limited visibility in a contemporary art context.’

  • Butch Britz, Master Shaftsinker, No. 4 Shaft, President Steyn Gold Mine, Welkom, 1969 (2_4773)

    David Goldblatt

    Butch Britz, Master Shaftsinker, No. 4 Shaft, President Steyn Gold Mine, Welkom, 1969 (2_4773), 1969

    Silver gelatin photograph on fibre-ba...

  • Spanner-man at the end of the shift, Western Deep Levels Gold Mine, Carletonville, 1970 (2_6072)

    David Goldblatt

    Spanner-man at the end of the shift, Western Deep Levels Gold Mine, Carletonville, 1970 (2_6072), 1970

    Silver gelatin photograph on fibre-...

  • Gang on surface work, Rustenburg Platinum Mine, Rustenburg. (2_7212)

    David Goldblatt

    Gang on surface work, Rustenburg Platinum Mine, Rustenburg. (2_7212), 1971

    Silver gelatin on fibre based paper

    Edition of 1...

  • Walking the 'madam's' dog, Hillbrow, June 1972 (2_9834)

    David Goldblatt

    Walking the 'madam's' dog, Hillbrow, June 1972 (2_9834), 1972

    Silver gelatin photograph on fibre-based paper

    approx. 30 x 40cm

    ...
  • George and Sarah Manyane, 3153 Emdeni Extension, Soweto (2_10938)

    David Goldblatt

    George and Sarah Manyane, 3153 Emdeni Extension, Soweto (2_10938), August 1972

    Silver gelatin photograph on fibre-based paper

    appro...

  • The house-painter and his family, Pretoria Street, Hillbrow (2_14396)

    David Goldblatt

    The house-painter and his family, Pretoria Street, Hillbrow (2_14396), Jan 1973

    Silver gelatin photograph on fibre-based paper

    appr...

  • Ozzie Docrat with his daughter Nassima in his shop before its destruction under the Group Areas Act, Fietas, Johannesburg (2_26500)

    David Goldblatt

    Ozzie Docrat with his daughter Nassima in his shop before its destruction under the Group Areas Act, Fietas, Johannesburg (2_26500), 1977

    ...

  • Yusuf and Ayesha Rajah at home with their baby before the destruction of fietas under the Group Areas Act (2_26648)

    David Goldblatt

    Yusuf and Ayesha Rajah at home with their baby before the destruction of fietas under the Group Areas Act (2_26648), 1976

    Silver gelatin p...

  • Funeral with military honours for two boyhood friends who went to school together in Boksburg, were drafted in the same unit of the South African Army, and who died in the same action against SWAPO on the Namibia-Angola border, Boksburg (2_29296)

    David Goldblatt

    Funeral with military honours for two boyhood friends who went to school together in Boksburg, were drafted in the same unit of the South African Army...

  • At the Summit Club pool on Claim Street, Hillbrow (2_A0275)

    David Goldblatt

    At the Summit Club pool on Claim Street, Hillbrow (2_A0275), 1971

    Silver gelatin photograph on fibre-based paper

    approx. 30 x 40cm<...

  • Stevedore, Durban (3_1302)

    David Goldblatt

    Stevedore, Durban (3_1302), 1953

    Silver gelatin photograph on fibre-based paper

    approx. 30 x 40cm

    Edition of 10

  • Child with a replica of a Zulu hut at the Voortrekker Monument, on the Day of the Covenant, Pretoria (3_9248)

    David Goldblatt

    Child with a replica of a Zulu hut at the Voortrekker Monument, on the Day of the Covenant, Pretoria (3_9248), Dec 1963

    Silver gelatin pho...

  • Two men building a dam on the farm Drogedal, or Droedal, in the Marico Bushveld, near Nietverdiend, Transvaal (3_A9911)

    David Goldblatt

    Two men building a dam on the farm Drogedal, or Droedal, in the Marico Bushveld, near Nietverdiend, Transvaal (3_A9911), 1964

    Silver gelat...

  • Flip du Toit on the stoep of his farm workshop at Abjaterskop, Marico Bushveld, Transvaal (North-West Province) (3_A9992)

    David Goldblatt

    Flip du Toit on the stoep of his farm workshop at Abjaterskop, Marico Bushveld, Transvaal (North-West Province) (3_A9992), 1964

    Silver gel...

  • Picnic at Hartebeespoort Dam on New Year's Day, Transvaal (North-West Province) (3_B0517)

    David Goldblatt

    Picnic at Hartebeespoort Dam on New Year's Day, Transvaal (North-West Province) (3_B0517), 1965

    Silver gelatin photograph on fibre-based p...

  • Picnic at Hartebeespoort Dam on New Year's Day, Transvaal (North-West Province) (3_B0524)

    David Goldblatt

    Picnic at Hartebeespoort Dam on New Year's Day, Transvaal (North-West Province) (3_B0524), 1965

    Silver gelatin photograph on fibre-based p...

  • Johannes van der Linde, farmer and major in the local army reserve, with his head labourer Ou Sam, Near Bloemfontein, Free State, 1965 (3_B5815)

    David Goldblatt

    Johannes van der Linde, farmer and major in the local army reserve, with his head labourer Ou Sam, Near Bloemfontein, Free State, 1965 (3_B5815),...

  • Marabastad-Waterval route: for most of the people in this bus, the cycle will start again tomorrow at between 2 and 3 am (3_G5690)

    David Goldblatt

    Marabastad-Waterval route: for most of the people in this bus, the cycle will start again tomorrow at between 2 and 3 am (3_G5690), 1983

    S...

  • 2:45am: the first bus of the day pulls in at Mathysloop on the Boekenhouthoek-Marabastad route from KwaNdebele to Pretoria (3_G5722)

    David Goldblatt

    2:45am: the first bus of the day pulls in at Mathysloop on the Boekenhouthoek-Marabastad route from KwaNdebele to Pretoria (3_G5722), 1983

  • Boarding the first bus at Mathysloop. It should reach the terminal at Marabastad in Pretoria two and a half hours later at 5:15 am (3_G5741)

    David Goldblatt

    Boarding the first bus at Mathysloop. It should reach the terminal at Marabastad in Pretoria two and a half hours later at 5:15 am (3_G5741), 198...

  • This is our new world. Read the morning newspaper for the new generation – Beeld, billboard, Braamfontein. October 1976 (4_2421)

    David Goldblatt

    This is our new world. Read the morning newspaper for the new generation – Beeld, billboard, Braamfontein. October 1976 (4_2421), 1976

    C...

  • The butchery of Hassimia Sahib, who resisted forced removal, with new housing for whites, during the destruction of Fietas under the Group Areas Act, 8 March 1986 (4_4051)

    David Goldblatt

    The butchery of Hassimia Sahib, who resisted forced removal, with new housing for whites, during the destruction of Fietas under the Group Areas Act, ...

  • South-east wing of a hostel for Black male workers erected during apartheid as part of a scheme to make Joburg city and suburbs white. Alexandra Township, 1 June, 1988 (4_5388)

    David Goldblatt

    South-east wing of a hostel for Black male workers erected during apartheid as part of a scheme to make Joburg city and suburbs white. Alexandra Towns...

  • Saturday morning at the Hypermarket: Semi-final of the Miss Lovely Legs Competition (2_29513_15)

    David Goldblatt

    Saturday morning at the Hypermarket: Semi-final of the Miss Lovely Legs Competition (2_29513_15), 1980

    Silver gelatin photograph on fibre-...

  • Saturday afternoon in Sunward Park, Boksburg (2_27761_63)

    David Goldblatt

    Saturday afternoon in Sunward Park, Boksburg (2_27761_63), April 1979

    Silver gelatin photograph on fibre-based paper

    approx. 30 x 4...

  • Braiding hair on Bree Street, Johannesburg.

    David Goldblatt

    Braiding hair on Bree Street, Johannesburg., 2002

    Digital Prints on 100% cotton rag paper

    Edition of 6

  • 'Boss Boy' detail, Battery Reef, Randfontein Estates Gold Mine, 1966 (2_2379)

    David Goldblatt

    'Boss Boy' detail, Battery Reef, Randfontein Estates Gold Mine, 1966 (2_2379), 1966

    Carbon ink on Hahnemuhle 315gsm / Platinum print on Ar...

  • Zionist Church baptism ceremony, Soweto

    Peter Magubane

    Zionist Church baptism ceremony, Soweto, unknown

    Silver gelatin print

    Frame: 47 x 65.5 cm / Work: 29.5 x 48 cm

    Edition of 10<...

  • Abandoned children in an orphanage in Soweto

    Peter Magubane

    Abandoned children in an orphanage in Soweto, Unknown

    Silver gelatin print

    Frame: 47 x 60.5 cm / Work: 29.5 x 43 cm

    Edition o...

  • An enterprising  businessman in Diepkloof, Soweto, set up a trampoline for the children. They paid 2 cents for a given number of jumps

    Peter Magubane

    An enterprising businessman in Diepkloof, Soweto, set up a trampoline for the children. They paid 2 cents for a given number of jumps, unknown

  • Sophiatown, early 1950's

    Peter Magubane

    Sophiatown, early 1950's, c1950

    Silver gelatin print

    Frame: 47 x 60 cm / Work: 29.5 x 42.5 cm

    Edition of 10

  • Children have to be satisfied with simple toys in the Black areas of apartheid South Africa. A hoop made out of a bicycle wheel in Soweto

    Peter Magubane

    Children have to be satisfied with simple toys in the Black areas of apartheid South Africa. A hoop made out of a bicycle wheel in Soweto, unknown...

  • Concertina Player, Soweto

    Peter Magubane

    Concertina Player, Soweto, unknown

    Silver gelatin print

    Frame: 47 x 55 cm / Work: 30 x 37.5 cm

    Edition of 10

  • 'Staffriders' are the young men who defy death by clinging to the sides of speeding trains

    Peter Magubane

    'Staffriders' are the young men who defy death by clinging to the sides of speeding trains, unknown

    Silver gelatin print

    Frame: 47 x...

  • Two of South Africa's Nobel peace prize laureates, Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, join hands at Ipeleng White City, Soweto

    Peter Magubane

    Two of South Africa's Nobel peace prize laureates, Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, join hands at Ipeleng White City, Soweto, c 2000

  • Give peace a chance, Soweto

    Peter Magubane

    Give peace a chance, Soweto, 1976

    Silver gelatin print

    Frame: 47 x 63 cm / Work: 29.5 x 45.5 cm

    Edition of 10

  • Peter Magubane took this image in the summer rainy season in Edenvale while doing a story for the Rand Daily mail on the slums

    Peter Magubane

    Peter Magubane took this image in the summer rainy season in Edenvale while doing a story for the Rand Daily mail on the slums, 1966

    Silver...

  • Mrs Emily Moitsieloa a well-known music teacher, teaches a boy to sing and play the piano, Sophiatown

    Peter Magubane

    Mrs Emily Moitsieloa a well-known music teacher, teaches a boy to sing and play the piano, Sophiatown, 1956

    Silver gelatin print

    Fra...

  • Children play in Diagonal Street. An Indian area that whites would go to shop for food, curry spices and clothing

    Peter Magubane

    Children play in Diagonal Street. An Indian area that whites would go to shop for food, curry spices and clothing, c1960

    Silver gelatin pri...

  • Peter Magubane

    Winnie Madikizela-Mandela under house arrest at number 8115 Orlando West, Soweto, c1969

    Silver gelatin print

    Frame: 48 x 61.5 cm / W...

  • Coal yards of Soweto. A young coal yard worker with his best friend

    Peter Magubane

    Coal yards of Soweto. A young coal yard worker with his best friend, c 1980

    Silver gelatin print

    Frame: 47 x 63.5 cm / Work: 29.5 x ...

  • A farmer's son with his nursemaid, Heimweeberg, Nietverdiend, Western Transvaal (3_A9941)

    David Goldblatt

    A farmer's son with his nursemaid, Heimweeberg, Nietverdiend, Western Transvaal (3_A9941), 1964

    Silver gelatin photograph on fibre-based p...

  • Installation picture [On Common Ground: David Goldblatt & Peter Magubane]