Thursday, October 10, 2013

Pieter Hugo - KIN at Stevenson Cape Town

Thabile Kadeni, Langa, 2013
Pieter Hugo's profound and deeply moving series KIN opens next week at Stevenson Cape Town. Made over the last eight years Hugo turns a critical but loving eye on his homeland. Hugo ventures into cramped townships, contested farmlands, abandoned mining areas,  and sites of political significance. He has looked at drifters and the homeless; his pregnant wife, and his daughter moments after her birth; the domestic servants who have worked for the Hugo family over three generations. The series alternates between intimate and public spaces, with particular emphasis on the growing disparity between rich and poor, and reveals Hugo's deeply conflicted feelings about his home. It confronts complex issues of colonization, racial diversity and economic disparity.

Hugo describes the work: engagement with the failure of the South African colonial experiment and my sense of being 'colonial driftwood' ... South Africa is such a fractured, schizophrenic, wounded and problematic place. It is a very violent society and the scars of colonialism and apartheid still run very deep. Issues of race and cultural custodianship permeate every aspect of society, and the legacy of forced racial segregation casts a long shadow ... How does one live in this society? How does one take responsibility for history, and to what extent should one try? How do you raise a family in such a conflicted society? Before getting married and having children, these questions did not trouble me; now, they are more confusing. This work attempts to address these questions and to reflect on the nature of conflicting personal and collective narratives. I have deeply mixed feelings about being here. I am interested in the places where these narratives collide. Kin is an attempt at evaluating the gap between society's ideals and its realities. 

Cape Town, 2009

Louis Mantanisa, Cape Town, 2013

Green Point Common, Cape Town, 2013
You can see more on the STEVENSON site HERE. And Pieter Hugo's site HERE.


Sevillian said...

very strong series. thanks for that.

Tires said...

thanks for that.