The Star, March 10, 2006
For his Acute Perception
SA photographer wins award for his portrayal of social and political life in country of his birth
By Demian Van Der Reijden
SOUTH AFRICAN PHOTOGRAPHER David Goldblatt (75) has been awarded the 2006 Hasselblad Foundation International Award in Photography, the organisation announced yesterday.
"I feel honoured," Goldblatt said. "But I feel strange as well. Many people who won this prize before me are great photographers I've admired all my life. Being among the greatest in my profession is...strange."
Goldblatt won the prize for his lifelong portrayal of the social and political life in South Africa, the Hasselblad Foundation said.
"His acute historical and political perception provides a sense of the texture of daily life, and an important piece of missing information regarding life, under apartheid in South Africa," the citation noted.
He will receive his prize, a golden medal and 500,000 krona (almost R400,000), at a ceremony in December in Goteborg, Sweden. The award will be made by a member of the Swedish royal family.
The winner of the prestigious annual prize is disclosed on March 8, the anniversary of the birthday of the founder of the Hasselblad camera equipment company, Victor Hasselblad.
"I knew I won for a couple of months already, but I had to keep it a secret," Golblatt said.
"I held an exhibition on Reunion Island last December, when I got a call from Sweden. Of course there were some people close to me who also knew."
Goldblatt, who lives in Johannesburg, ventured into photography during high school. Several collections of his photographs have been published as books, and his works have been displayed at museums all over the world.
"This is actually the third prize in photography I have won, as far as I can remember. The first I won when I was only 16--it was a Meccano photography prize. The second one was in the late eighties, the Camera Austria prize. And now this. I was really surprised, because the nominees are never revealed," a happy Goldblatt concluded.
The Erna and Victor Hasselblad Foundation promotes scientific education and research in natural sciences and photography.
The Hasselblad Foundation's citation reads: "David Goldblatt's work is a life-long observation of the social and political developments within South African society.
"He has been concerned to explore the relationship between individual subjects
and the structures within which they live.
"His interest in the violent history of his country, and his awareness of the symbolic significance of architecture, form an extraordinary statement both personal and socio-political.
"Photography," in the words of David Goldblatt, reveals "something of the subtlety and ambiguity of our shifting and frequently contradictory perceptions of reality".
"The reason why Goldblatt has been chosen for the Hasselblad Award is because his photographs are acute in historical and political perception."
© The Star 2006
Love and a very special thanks to Ann in SA for feeding my interests.