'Ponte City' by Mikhael Subotzky documents the history of Africa's tallest residential high-rise building using photos of the building, portraits of residents & texts in a book togehter with 17 booklets of found ephemera and archived advertising material.
This remarkable body of images is presented in counterpoint with an extensive archive of found material and historical documents. The visual story is integrated with a sustained sequence of essays and documentary texts. In the essays in English by Lindsay Bremner, Denis Hirson, Harry Kalmer, Kgebetli Moele, Sean O´Toole, Melinda Silverman, Ivan Vladislavic, Percy Zvomuya explore Ponte City's unique place in Johannesburg and in the imagination of its citizens.
What emerges is a complex portrait of a place shaped by contending projections, a single, unavoidable building seen as refuge and monstrosity, dreamland and dystopia, a lightning rod for a society's hopes and fears, and always a beacon to navigate by.
This long-term project obtained the Discovery Award at Les Rencontres d'Arles in 2011.
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