David Goldblatt, from Particulars, 1975 28.04. – 01.07.2018 | Fotomuseum Winterthur


"Man Sleeping, Joubert Park, Johannesburg", gelatin-silver print, 1975 © David Goldblatt
"Girl with Purse, Joubert Park, Johannesburg", gelatin-silver print, 1975 © David Goldblatt
David Goldblatt, from Particulars, 1975, SITUATION #126, SITUATIONS/Follower, installation view at Fotomuseum Winterthur, 2018 © Philipp Ottendörfer

In his 1975 series Particulars, David Goldblatt shows details and characteristics of people visiting a public park in Johannesburg. The unabashed, indeed almost voyeuristic, gaze at intimate body areas and personal gestures, and particularly the evident absence of any kind of conscious posing for the camera, would suggest that the individuals in these pictures were completely unaware that they were being photographed. Portrayed in format-filling close-up, enlarged to some 50 x 60 cm, the surface textures of skin, clothing and jewellery engage our attention in a way that makes them the primary compositional aspect of the photographs. One particular appeal of these images lies in the viewer's ability to observe, openly yet unnoticed, every pore, scar and curve at close quarters. In this early series, Goldblatt also touches upon questions of surveillance in public places, the rights of privacy, the protection of personal images, and the profiling of individuals, all of which are now subject to vigorous debate today, if not at the time of the photographs themselves.

More by David Goldblatt: davidgoldblatt.com

Kindly supported by Art Mentor Foundation Lucerne.