“Rise and Fall of Apartheid: Photography and the Bureaucracy of Everyday Life” at the International Center of Photography

Unidentified Photographer, (Part of the crowd near the Drill Hall on the opening day of the Treason Trial, December 19, 1956. Times Media Collection, Museum Africa, Johannesburg.)

This Friday, September 14th, the International Center of Photography is opening their new exhibition, Rise and Fall of Apartheid: Photography and the Bureaucracy of Everyday Life. The entire museum will display approximately 500 photographs, artworks, films, videos, periodicals, posters, and documents together as a way to depict the impact of one of the most influential movements in the 20th century.  Laumont is proud to announce their participation in the exhibition, with the production of 42 c-prints and 33 pigment prints.


Alf Khumalo, South Africa goes on trial. Police outside the court. The whole world was watching when the three major sabotage trials started in Pretoria, Cape Town and Maritzburg. Outside the palace of Justice during the Rivonia Trial, 1963. Courtesy of Bailey’s Archive. © Baileys Archives.

The exhibition will feature works from notable South African photographers, including Leon Levson, Eli Weinberg, David Goldblatt, Peter Magubane, Alf Khumalo, Jürgen Schadeberg, Sam Nzima, Ernest Cole, George Hallet, Omar Badsha, Gideon Mendel, Paul Weinberg, Kevin Carter, Joao Silva, and Greg Marinovich, as well as works from Sabelo Mlangeni and Thabiso Sekgala, two South African photographers that explore the present-day impact of apartheid. Responses from contemporary artists such as Adrian Piper, Sue Williamson, Jo Ractliffe, Jane Alexander, Santu Mofokeng, Guy Tillim, Hans Haacke, and William Kentridge are also included in the exhibition.

A short description courtesy of the museum follows:

“Rise and Fall of Apartheid: Photography and the Bureaucracy of Everyday Life” is a photographic exhibition examining the legacy of the apartheid system and how it penetrated even the most mundane aspects of social existence in South Africa, from housing, public amenities, and transportation to education, tourism, religion, and businesses. Complex, vivid, evocative, and dramatic, it includes nearly 500 photographs, films, books, magazines, newspapers, and assorted archival documents and covers more than 60 years of powerful photographic and visual production that forms part of the historical record of South Africa. Several photographic strategies, from documentary to reportage, social documentary to the photo essay, were each adopted to examine the effects and after-effects of apartheid’s political, social, economic, and cultural legacy. Curated by Okwui Enwezor with Rory Bester, the exhibition proposes a complex understanding of photography and the aesthetic power of the documentary form and honors the exceptional achievement of South photographers.

Greame Williams, Right Wing. South Africa, Pretoria, 1990. Courtesy the artist. © Greame Williams.

For more information about the exhibition and the curators, read the entire press release from the International Center of Photography.

Rise and Fall of Apartheid: Photography and the Bureaucracy of Everyday Life will be on view from September 14, 2012 through January 6, 2012 at the International Center of Photography, located at 1133 Avenue of the Americas at 43rd Street New York, NY 10036.