Shooting Stars: Pierre Rommelaere, Vetman van der Naam, Hylton Boucher, Pierre Crocquet, Tim Hopwood & Roger Ballen
Erdmann Contemporary, Cape Town, South Africa 01 Dec 2015 - 31 Jan 2016
Pierre Crocquet, Simphiwe Dana. Courtesy: Artist
Shooting Stars explores how the digital era has impacted on music photography through the eyes of six photographers.
Rommelaere and van der Naam are two of the three rising stars, both are self-taught photographers. Van der Naam started taking photographs at concerts in 2008, Rommelaere in 2011. Boucher, the other rising star, studied photography, but only after he had documented the rock and roll and heavy metal scenes in Windhoek, Namibia in his late teens. Their archives are filled with images taken at live music events in Cape Town and Stellenbosch, and music festivals around South Africa. With pit and all access passes they get onto the front and back stages of live music events; like street photographers, they shoot fast and from the hip. All three rising stars shoot to no brief, there are no creative directors, agencies or record labels to answer to. They only take their cue from on-stage performances. They use social media platforms for the distribution of their images. They are professional gig photographs at night, their day jobs pay rent.
Heidi Erdmann selected the works of three other participants; her objective was to find the counter balance. Crocquet, Hopwood and Ballen are established talents, each with a series of work suited to this exhibition, but they are not known as music photographers.
When Crocquet started work on Sound Check, he was new to photography and the South African jazz scene was new to him. He had been out of the country for more than five years; he left behind a career in banking to pursue his interest in photography. Three years into the series, Standard Bank Art Gallery in Johannesburg offered him an exhibition, acquired twenty five photographs from the series and published his book, Sound Check. Crocquet photographed South African jazz legends at concerts and music festivals around the world.
Tim Hopwood worked as a professional photographer for more than two decades, but could not bear the thought of going digital, and became a songwriter instead. He is represented in this exhibition with a small series of photographs taken at aVoëlvry music concert in 1989. His quiet and deeply atmospheric portraits of musicians were shot on film and hand printed by him.
Ballen’s photographs from Roger Ballen/Die Antwoord series points to the collaborative potential between artist and musicians. The photographs were taken behind the scenes during the making of the music video I Fink U Freeky, directed by Ballen and Ninja. The music video became an internet sensation with more than 50 million hits.