Cover image for Casting shadows : images from a new South Africa : photographs
Title:
Casting shadows : images from a new South Africa : photographs
Author:
West, Edward, 1949-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Ann Arbor, Mich. : University of Michigan Museum of Art, [2001]

©2001
Physical Description:
96 pages : color illustrations ; 30 cm
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780295981178

9780295981185
Format :
Book

Available:*

Library
Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Status
Central Library TR659.8 .W47 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Oversize
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Frank E. Merriweather Library TR659.8 .W47 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Black History Non-Circ
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Summary

Summary

Published in conjunction with a year 2000 exhibition held at the U. of Michigan Museum of Art, this square format book (11.5x11.5") presents several brief interpretive essays and an interview with the artist; but most pages are devoted to West's evocative color photographs. The photos' intentional soft focus and careful, formal composition create an emotional spell oddly in contrast with their stark subject matter. Distribution is by the U. of Washington Press. Annotation copyrighted by Book News, Inc., Portland, OR


Summary

Edward West uses the metaphorical power of shadow to foreground the shifting visibility of South Africa's black population post apartheid. From 1997-1999, he traveled in South Africa to photograph the country's townships, squatter camps, and locations during this historic time of transition. In focusing on the private moments of these newly empowered people within their own communities, West has created a complex, visually compelling study of the ways in which identity is inextricably linked to environment. Utilizing the medium of photography in large scale color Giclee prints, West has developed a rich visual language built on the shadow metaphor that at once moves us and grounds us.


Author Notes

ART


Reviews 4

Booklist Review

By exploiting contrast and by printing, it seems, on textured paper, West achieves in color a visual softness. That is highly appropriate to his stated concern with shadows in these pictures of one, two, or three black South Africans set in relief by the fields of stark, powdery hues and of heavy darkness and light afforded by the sunlit streets and the buildings of the black projects of the Eastern Cape. Himself a son of the black projects of New York, West looks beyond his subjects' poverty to their existential situation as a people emerging from the shadow of their country's former white supremacist regime, under which they were, politically and socially, shadows of the "real" --white--people. Thanks to West's technique and his decision never to show a face completely illuminated, they appear as near-shadows in compositions reminiscent of Edward Hopper's paintings, with their indistinct figures offset by geometrical color fields. But whereas apprehension is rife in Hopper's work, love and tentative hope are reflected by West's. Ray Olson.


Library Journal Review

In this his first book, West (Sch. of Art and Design, Univ. of Michigan) seeks to capture in photographs the marginalized existence of South Africa's people of color. His photographic technique and the quality of the images are exceptional. Yet the volume's conceptual emptiness induces unease a feeling not placated even by the eloquence of essays by Mongane Wally Serote (To Every Birth Its Blood and numerous other works) and Lemuel Johnson (The Devil, the Gargoyle, and the Buffoon) or Leslie King-Hammond's revealing interview with West. For all their beauty and conviction, these writings mainly editorialize and praise a work of genius that the remaining pages of the volume do not reveal. West's subjects appear well prepared for the camera, their shaded faces always contemplative. That is the look of the photographer's South Africa, not of South Africa itself, and the metaphor of the shadow dissipates in the real shadow of the book's intellectual gimmickry. Recommended only for the largest metropolitan libraries. Edward K. Owusu-Ansah, CUNY Coll. of Staten Island Lib., NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Booklist Review

By exploiting contrast and by printing, it seems, on textured paper, West achieves in color a visual softness. That is highly appropriate to his stated concern with shadows in these pictures of one, two, or three black South Africans set in relief by the fields of stark, powdery hues and of heavy darkness and light afforded by the sunlit streets and the buildings of the black projects of the Eastern Cape. Himself a son of the black projects of New York, West looks beyond his subjects' poverty to their existential situation as a people emerging from the shadow of their country's former white supremacist regime, under which they were, politically and socially, shadows of the "real" --white--people. Thanks to West's technique and his decision never to show a face completely illuminated, they appear as near-shadows in compositions reminiscent of Edward Hopper's paintings, with their indistinct figures offset by geometrical color fields. But whereas apprehension is rife in Hopper's work, love and tentative hope are reflected by West's. Ray Olson.


Library Journal Review

In this his first book, West (Sch. of Art and Design, Univ. of Michigan) seeks to capture in photographs the marginalized existence of South Africa's people of color. His photographic technique and the quality of the images are exceptional. Yet the volume's conceptual emptiness induces unease a feeling not placated even by the eloquence of essays by Mongane Wally Serote (To Every Birth Its Blood and numerous other works) and Lemuel Johnson (The Devil, the Gargoyle, and the Buffoon) or Leslie King-Hammond's revealing interview with West. For all their beauty and conviction, these writings mainly editorialize and praise a work of genius that the remaining pages of the volume do not reveal. West's subjects appear well prepared for the camera, their shaded faces always contemplative. That is the look of the photographer's South Africa, not of South Africa itself, and the metaphor of the shadow dissipates in the real shadow of the book's intellectual gimmickry. Recommended only for the largest metropolitan libraries. Edward K. Owusu-Ansah, CUNY Coll. of Staten Island Lib., NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Table of Contents

James Christen StewardLeslie King-HammondMongane Wally SeroteLemuel JohnsonAthol FugardAthol FugardJames Christen StewardLeslie King-HammondMongane Wally SeroteLemuel JohnsonAthol FugardAthol Fugard
Acknowledgmentsp. 6
Forewordp. 7
Out of the Shadows/Into the Light: The Art and Photography of Edward Westp. 9
Images: Opportunities and Tribulationsp. 19
The Shadow of a Truthful Liep. 23
Excerpt from Tsotsip. 28
Platesp. 30
Excerpt from Tsotsip. 92
Checklistp. 96
Acknowledgmentsp. 6
Forewordp. 7
Out of the Shadows/Into the Light: The Art and Photography of Edward Westp. 9
Images: Opportunities and Tribulationsp. 19
The Shadow of a Truthful Liep. 23
Excerpt from Tsotsip. 28
Platesp. 30
Excerpt from Tsotsip. 92
Checklistp. 96

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