Figures & Fictions: Contemporary South African Photography

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Figures & Fictions: Contemporary South African Photography
Image courtesy of Jack Shainman Gallery, New York Untitled (From 'The Brave Ones' series), Zwelethu Mthethwa

In a varied exhibition, Pieter Hugo's dusky images of a Nigerian man with muzzled hyena and Xhosa youths in post-circumcision tweeds stand out, as do Guy Tillim's almost abstract pictures of Malawi famine. Graeme Williams memorably muddies the narrative of his shiny images with shadows and strange angles.

But the title is odd: where's the fiction in this digging into contemporary South African identity? Santu Mofokeng, whose superb images of a Christian cave are included here, says that photographs 'are already a fiction' but the rude clarity of some digital photographs seems to want to refute that. (NC)

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