Tag: JAG

Johannesburg Art Gallery – Seven Images

Black and White photography, Photography, South Africa Chronicles July 27, 2018

JAG – the Johannesburg Art Gallery – is, as I’ve mentioned in a previous post, a once-grand edifice, marooned like an old freighter on the manic reef of downtown Johannesburg. You enter (for free) through a turnstile, and as you do so, the last survivor of the shipwreck emerges from the wheelhouse beside the door, looks you over disinterestedly, and disappears again. The exhibition spaces are as vast and silent as empty cargo holds, the skylights and light fittings, rails and tubing, all that is left of a once-thrumming engine.

The miracle is that it keeps going at all – JAG, that is – and as we wander its halls, alone, others silently enter, and wander by, and exit again. Will they return? Will we? Or will JAG crumble, finally, into the crumbling city?

Here are seven images.

Reflections on Tillmans

A Writer's Half Life, Photography, South Africa Chronicles July 24, 2018

The work of Wolfgang Tillmans, a German photographer, seems perfectly housed in the downtown, chaotic, teeming environment in which the Johannesburg Art Gallery has washed up, like a shipwreck on the beach after Fukushima, faintly radioactive.

Much of Tillman’s art is seemingly artless – and sometimes, in his work, to my eye at least, art less means without art. Yet there are images, too, in his world of found objects, circumstance, accident, composition and observation, that are interesting, unsettling, and occasionally quite powerful.

These half-dozen images are images of Tillman’s images, but also reflections.