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South African Photographs: David Goldblatt

May 2, 2010 - September 19, 2010

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Galleries Early Work & Mines | Afrikaners | Bantustans | Boksburg | Structures | Johannesburg

The gold mines among which I had grown up in Randfontein on the West Rand were dying. One after the other shafts were being sealed and headgears and magnificent steam hoists oxyacetylened for scrap. A compound for Black miners became a hospital for the insane. I ranged the length of the Witwatersrand, from Randfontein to Springs, photographing the death of a culture. In collaboration with Nadine Gordimer, this became an essay of text and photographs, The Witwatersrand, a Time and Tailings, published in Optima. In the goldfields of the Far West Rand and the Free State, new mines had opened. I photographed in some of them and from all of this grew a book, On the Mines with Nadine Gordimer, published in 1973.