Guy Tillim is a great figure of the contemporary South-African photographic scene. He began as a young reporter in the 1980âs, when he became aware of photography as a way to fight against the racial gap created by the Apartheid in his country: âthe camera is the ideal tool to transcend those borders, to see what happened in my own countryâ.
For years, Tillim photographed documentary projects of visual and historical strength to create testimonies to the social conflict and inequalities prevailing in South Africa. In those pictures, blunt and dark colours appear suddenly from a damp grey background, in an imitative harmony with the harshness of its subjects.
His work has been widely published in press and in numerous books, and exhibited in prestigious festivals and collective exhibitions throughout Europe; for example, Africa Remix in 2004, PHotoEspaÃ±a in 2005 and Dokumenta XII in 2007.
Tillim has been photographing the landscape in French Polynesia. He was drawn to this landscape that has been continuously sketched - and later photographed - since Captain James Cook's voyages in the late 18th century, perhaps because it almost eludes convincing representation. In reading the accounts of the artists who accompanied Cook, Tillim was interested to note that their debates on-board ship around the subject of the representation of landscape are very similar to those we have today: how much do you 'give' a scene and how much do you let it speak for itself?
In this regard, he explains his own difficulties in finding a way through this binary because of our strongly conditioned...
These photographs are not collapsed histories of post-colonial African states or a meditation on aspects of late-modernist-era colonial structures, but a walk through avenues of dreams. Patrice Lumumba's dream, his nationalism, is discernible in the structures, if one reads certain clues, as is the death of his dream, in these de facto monuments. How strange that modernism, which eschewed monument and past for nature and future, should carry such memory so well.
With only 300 miles of paved roads, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (a country roughly the size of Western Europe) is dependent on its aircraft, regardless of the planes' safety records or sturdiness. A charter outfit called Business Aviation has become crucial to the delicate economy. Herewith, some images of the D.R.C.'s fearless fliers and their aircraft.
Jo'burg: an intimate nickname for a South African metropolis. It is not then Johannesburg that is offered to look at here, but the personal vision that Guy Tillim has of it. He drags us inside districts, inside the buildings of blighted areas of the capital of the richest province of South Africa.
Leopold and Mobutu, Democratic Republic of Congo (2003)
done in 2003, this story is talking about a moving Africa. the title is a nod to the past of Zaire, but everything in these pictures shows the current hupeaval of a world that is searching for itself.
Zaire, former Belgian Congo...Belgian domination under Leopold II, then the authoritarian power of Mobutu Sese Seko...and then Leopoldville that became Kinshasa.
But from Leopold to Mobutu, Africa seems only to remember the idea of unstability.
Co-published by The Walther Collection, this book presents selections from Guy Tillimâs most influential works and series of the last decade, including âMai Mai militia in training,â âJoâburg,â âAvenue Patrice Lumumba,â and âSecond Nature.â Anchored in photojournalism but working against the grain of spectacle, Tillim portrays the communities, social landscapes and symbolic structures of societies altered by conflict. From explorations of modernist architectureâand its utopian ruinsâin post-colonial Angola, Congo and Mozambique, to the homes and private lives of Johannesburgâs inner-city residents, Tillimâs work raises timely questions about the politics and representation of the built environment.
Publisher: The Walther Collection / Steidl (2015) 304 pages Size: 26.5 x 23 cm
Avenue Patrice Lumumba
Guy Tillim's earlier photographs documented war-torn Africa and the people whose lives have been shaped by years of conflict and hardship. In this book he focuses on the structures that dot the urban landscape of these troubled countries. The eighty images in this book from Angola, Mozambique, Madagascar, and the Democratic Republic of Congo reveal modern buildings constructed with illusions of prosperity and peace and then left to decay. This collection reflects the intuitive brilliance that is Guy Tillim's hallmark, tells Africa's story of failure and atrophy, and points to the intersection of present-day Africa with its colonial past in countries that were forsaken in the name of progress and the perpetual quest for power. Text by: Robert Gardner et Guy Tillim Publisher: Prestel Publishing (2008) 128 pages Size: 34 x 24 cm ISBN :3791340662
This group of photos explores to what extent a photographer can truly render a natural or urban landscape by evoking a question which is inherent to the representation of landscape: âHow much do you âgiveâ a scene and how much do you let it speak for itself ?â
The Polynesian landscape has been the subject of numerous sketches and photos since Captain Cookâs voyages at the end of the 18th century, perhaps because it almost eludes any convincing form of representation. When Guy Tillim takes photos of a landscape, he sets himself the task of âactually seeing the landscape. Itâs...
Jo'burg (2004) Birthplace of Guy Tillim, Johannesburg has been radicaly changed after the end of apparteid, with a controversal urban transformation. Tillim was interested in the people forgotten of this metamorphosis : inhabitants prisoners of the unhealthy towers, awaiting reconstruction, that he had observed in their daily lives. Tillim photographed families, children, teenagers lonely excluded who lived in those decomposated apartments, squatted, or destroyed by the violence palpable of expulsions â and the town, ghostlike, from the top of these towers.
Patrice Lumumba Avenue (2008)...