Santu Mofokenog, a photographer whose visible image of daily life in South Africa’s black population documented the possibility of liberation from racism and the unfulfilled promise of its emergence, died on January 2 in Johannesburg. He was 63 years old.
His death was announced by the maker, which represents the Santu Mofokeng Foundation. According to South African News reports, he had progressive supernatural pulse, a debilitating brain disease that restricted him to a wheelchair and made him unable to speak, according to South African News reports.
Mr Mofokenog (pronounced Mo-Faye-Kaneg) never considered himself an integral part of the anti-apartheid struggle, but he was sincere in his policy.
She grew up in a poor family with a single mother; Maurice Isaacson attended high school, which was a hoax for the student coup in Soi in 1976; And witnessed his younger brother being beaten by white bullies in retaliation for brutal suppression of protests and disagreements against the government.
After beginning his career as a dark house technician, Mr Mofokenog dabbled in photo journalism covering protests and critical reactions to strikes and police – all documented exclusively by television cameras.
But he developed a thirst for more perspectives than the daily deadline provided, and he concluded that the transition to a multi-ethnic South African society could gradually be documented in black-and-white images.
“While many other photographers capture flashes of protest, Mofokeng has more subtlety or physical appearance – political beliefs, beliefs,” writes Ashra Jamal, a cultural critic. The kitchen. “He was widely celebrated as a spiritual painter of spiritual affairs in South Africa, and his uniqueness is his ability to draw attention to something that cannot be concealed from his biography.”
Mr Mofokenog captures that aura in many photographs and projects: an empty street photo with a placard that reads “Power Fight Back” during his country’s first democratic election in 5; “Train Church” (১৯৮6), which is crowded and isolated, depicts religious rituals immediately in the passenger train car; Rural Farmers’ “The Blimhoff Portfolio,” whom he spent years photographing; “On Tracks,” a photo essay on New York City subway workers in the 5th; And “The Black Photo Album / Look at Me: 1890-1950,” an annotated archive of official colonial-era portraits of African families.
As Mr Mofokenog once said, “This is not about what you see in these photos.” “It’s about what you can’t see, but feel it.”
His work has been shown around the world. A color landscape series, “Graves”, was screened at the Venice Biennale in 24th. An exhibition surveyed his photographs at the Walther Collection project site in New York on May 23. His 21,000-volume collection of 551 photographs from his 32,000-frame archive, “Sant Mofokong: Stories,” was published by Steadle last year.
Robert B. of the New York Public Library. Joshua Chuang, Senior Curator of Mensel Photography, called Mr. Mofokeng a “great figure in photography for the past 6 years.”
“While his images mark the origin of racist South African realism, they refuse to adhere to stereotypes,” Mr Chuang said in an email.
“These are unpredictable, italic and varied in their form and manner, beyond being heroic,” he added. “They express a complex humanity that is not predetermined, but rather one that offers benefits, absurdities, and miracles.”
Mr. Mofokenog was born on October 6, 1860 in Johannesburg. His father, a migrant worker, died when he was 7 His His mother was a maid
“I was raised by a parent who always included a religious topic in me about seeking meaning and purpose,” Mr Mofokeng told curator and critic Hans Ulrich Obrist in 2002. “This is my initiative and the work I do.”
Chuang says that the gift he received from his sister at 17 when he received the first camera from his sister, said Mr Chuang, which helped him overcome his shyness.
Mr Mofokenz’s survivors include his wife, Butumello, a community developer and marathon runner, and two children. His brother Ismail was diagnosed with HIV in 2004. Died for related reasons.
A year later, he was hired by the South African newspaper The New Nation. From 1988 to 1998, he worked as a documentary photographer and visual anthropologist at the Oral History Project of the African Studies Institute at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, where his mentor was one of the most acclaimed photographers in the country, David Goldblatt, who died at the International Center in New York in 2018. He studied photography.
His attitude toward his people and to himself was prevalent. His work is so metaphorical that he was often described as a poet and a photographer, as an artist.
“One of his influential, almost captivating, photographs impresses me. At least, now they do, “wrote photographer and art historian Tzu Cole New York Times Magazine In some “I didn’t understand them when I first encountered them about 15 years or so many years ago.”
Years later, Mr. Cole said he had unveiled Mr. Mofokenz’s secret?
Mr Cole writes, “Mofokeng looks at how much excitement the picture can withstand before an image is disintegrated. He suggests that it took a word to define his photographs from Sir Mofokong’s native Sotho language, Siri.
“It is a word whose senses include” shadow “as well as” aura, “” dignity, “” presence “and” confidence “.” Against the harsh interrogative light of unjust political reality, Mofokong suggests. seriti: More secret types of knowledge.