View Zwelethu Mthethwa in Conversation with Okwui Enwezor
This past March photographer Zwelethu Mthethwa’s long-awaited, first comprehensive monograph was released by Aperture, the book spans many years of Zwelethu’s internationally celebrated career and portrays the urban and rural-industrial social landscape of South Africa. On the occasion of the book release, Zwelethu Mthethwa was joined by curator and dean of academic affairs of San Francisco Art Institute, Okwui Enwezor, in a conversation at the Aperture Gallery and Bookstore, at full capacity with well wishers, students, gallerists and fellow artists who’d come to hear this in-depth talk.
In this edited excerpt, Zwelethu Mthethwa presents his acclaimed portrait series, Interiors. Mthethwa shares his desire to create “a contemporary history” that portrays people in a humane light. Shooting primarily in the outer regions of Capetown for this series, Mthethwa paid special attention to the colorful decorations within his subjects homes and looked to show their beauty, dignity and resourcefulness despite the overcrowded living conditions of the outer-city. During their conversation, Okwui Enwezor and Zwelethu Mthethwa debate the role ethics play in the photographs and Mthethwa touches on the relationship he develops with his subjects, describing the shoot as “a difficult dance.”
View the talk in full here: