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Events in Art and Archaeology

Ponte City: Mikhael Subotzky and Patrick Waterhouse
EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND  •  Scottish National Portrait Gallery  •  6 December 2014 - 26 April 2015
 
 

Rising 54 storeys high, Ponte City is the tallest residential building in Africa. Since 1975 this iconic structure has punctuated the Johannesburg skyline, originally offering cosmopolitan living for white South Africa. In the post-apartheid years the building became more integrated, with many people relocating from townships and recently it has become home for immigrants from other African countries. In 2007 developers planned a major refurbishment of the tower block; although the renovation began it was never completed—leaving the structure in a semi-destructed state, while tenants, those who had not yet been evicted or were simply squatting, still occupied flats in the block.

It was during this time period that the tower became the subject of a creative collaboration between South African photographer, Mikhael Subotzky and British artist, Patrick Waterhouse. They interviewed the remaining tenants and recorded the half-occupied building through a series of photographs and a collection of documents and other debris from the abandoned units.

Cumulatively the work provides a cross-section of an iconic South African landmark that continues to symbolize the hopes and fears of the country’s most populous city, and in turn, this post-apartheid nation.



Scottish National Portrait Gallery Website


Contact: Scottish National Portrait Gallery
The Mound, Edinburgh, EH2 2EL
Edinburgh
Tel: (44)131 624 62 00

Mikhael Subotzky and Patrick Waterhouse:<EM>&nbsp;Lift Portrait 03</EM>, Ponte City, Johannesburg
Mikhael Subotzky and Patrick Waterhouse: Lift Portrait 03, Ponte City, Johannesburg
Ponte City: Mikhael Subotzky and Patrick Waterhouse
EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND  •  Scottish National Portrait Gallery  •  6 December 2014 - 26 April 2015
 
 

Rising 54 storeys high, Ponte City is the tallest residential building in Africa. Since 1975 this iconic structure has punctuated the Johannesburg skyline, originally offering cosmopolitan living for white South Africa. In the post-apartheid years the building became more integrated, with many people relocating from townships and recently it has become home for immigrants from other African countries. In 2007 developers planned a major refurbishment of the tower block; although the renovation began it was never completed—leaving the structure in a semi-destructed state, while tenants, those who had not yet been evicted or were simply squatting, still occupied flats in the block.

It was during this time period that the tower became the subject of a creative collaboration between South African photographer, Mikhael Subotzky and British artist, Patrick Waterhouse. They interviewed the remaining tenants and recorded the half-occupied building through a series of photographs and a collection of documents and other debris from the abandoned units.

Cumulatively the work provides a cross-section of an iconic South African landmark that continues to symbolize the hopes and fears of the country’s most populous city, and in turn, this post-apartheid nation.



Scottish National Portrait Gallery Website


Contact: Scottish National Portrait Gallery
The Mound, Edinburgh, EH2 2EL
Edinburgh
Tel: (44)131 624 62 00



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