Figures and Fictions presents the work of 17 South African photographers, all of whom are currently living and working in the country. Edited by Tamar Garb. It features works produced between 2000 and 2010, as the first flush of post-democratic euphoria begins to fade. While the old fixed categories of 'black and white' no longer hold, they have not easily been displaced by the ideal of a post-racial 'rainbow nation' of citizens and subjects.
In this fascinating and fraught political context, a new generation of outstanding photographers have joined the established doyens of South African image makers to produce startling and compelling work. The exhibition will include renowned practitioners David Goldblatt and Santu Mofokeng, mid-career stars Guy Tillim, Pieter Hugo, Zwelethu Methethwa, Berni Searle, Jodi Bieber, and Terry Kurgan, and newcomers to the international stage Zanele Muholi, Hassan and Husain Essop, Roelof van Wyk, Graeme Williams, Kudzanai Chiurai, and Sabelo Mlangeni.
This paperback edition printed especially for the V&A. Their photographs provide a vivid snapshot of what it means to be a South African today. The publication includes an excellent introductory essay on the origins of contemporary South African photography written by Tamar Garb, Professor of Art History at University College London and curator of the exhibition. In addition to the great number of images shown in the book, it contains interviews, artist's statements and biographies.