BOOK LAUNCH: Ponte City By Mikhael Subotzky and Patrick Waterhouse

Ponte Tower / FNB Joburg Art Fair / Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg, South Africa
23 Aug 2014

BOOK LAUNCH: Ponte City By Mikhael Subotzky and Patrick Waterhouse

Ponte City Joe Slovo Drive, Johannesburg, 2013, © Mikhael Subotzky and Patrick Waterhouse, courtesy Goodman Gallery

Ponte City building is an iconic structure in Johannesburg’s skyline that has long been a symbol for the city itself. Opened in 1976, Ponte has come to represent the best and the worst of Johannesburg, and has generated a particular mythology of city life.

South African photographer Mikhael Subotzky and British artist Patrick Waterhouse combine photography, historical archives, found objects, and interviews to create a body of work that spans the pre- history of the building, its spectacular decline, and the recent attempts at its transformation. The building is cast as the central character in a tangled narrative about Johannesburg’s magnetic pull on people from all over the continent.

In the artist’s words; “From the beginning, we have been interested in the mythical position of Ponte in Johannesburg’s consciousness, as much as in its history and architecture. Our attempts to understand the psychology, structure and historical narrative of the building have included taking a photograph from every window, of every television screen, and of every internal door, as well as the collecting of archival material and forming long-term relationships with its residents present and past.”

The work has culminated in the production of a book, of which the Goethe-Institut has been a proud supporter and is pleased to be involved in its launch at the 2014 Joburg Art Fair. In collaboration with Goodman Gallery and the Goethe- Institut Johannesburg, the book will be launched with an installation of some of the works at Ponte City followed by a panel discussion and book signing at The FNB Joburg Art Fair.


11am Book Launch at Ponte Tower, 1 Lily Avenue, Berea

5pm Book Launch at FNB Joburg Art Fair / Sandton Convention Centre
with Mikhael Subotzky, Patrick Waterhouse and Ivan Vladislavic,
with Readings by Melinda Silverman and Harry Kalmer


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