ArtJunk
No. 10—2024

Billboards

Santu Mofokeng

Info: Galerie Thomas Zander is pleased to present an exhibition of photographs by the South African artist Santu Mofokeng. This is Mofokeng’s first solo exhibition in Cologne. Mofokeng‘s images and texts tackle subjects like history and land, memory and spirituality. He is one of the artists who helped shape the course of South African photography, yet his documentary style defies easy categorisation. Over several decades he created an oeuvre that addresses monumental topics while retaining a sense of lightness and poetry. The exhibition was initially conceived together with the artist during his lifetime and it features a selection from his seminal series Billboards. Mofokeng took the photographs between 1985 and 2010 in different parts of Johannesburg and Pretoria, such as Soweto, Orange Farm, Tembisa, Kempton Park and Enerdale. In Santu Mofokeng’s view, these billboards have been the medium of communication between the rulers and the denizens of townships since their inception. A relic from the time when Africans were subjugated and the township and its inhabitants were subject to racist laws governing who could or could not enter the cities. It is without irony when I say that billboards can be used as reference points when plotting the history and development of the township. Billboards capture and encapsulate ideology, the social, economic and political climate at any given time. (…)

Galerie Thomas Zander Santu Mofokeng ArtJunk