Monday, November 2, 2009

Paul Weinberg’s exhibition – Here and There – came to an end on Saturday. All in all it was a hugely successful show, with an opening night that will surely be remembered for a long time to come in both the Kalk Bay community as well as the greater art sphere.

The next exciting exhibition will feature the work of Peter Clarke, an extremely versatile and award winning South African artist – there will be more to follow on that soon.

In the meantime we will explore a few more of Paul Weinberg’s remarkable images, starting today with a truly triumphant moment in our political and ethical history.

The image is of Nelson Mandela casting his vote in South Africa’s first democratic elections in 1994. Paul described the moment of taking the shot – the awkward angle and the frantic atmosphere mixed with the delirious sense of seeing history being made.

This is what one sees in this image, a piece of world history, a poignant and earth-shaking moment, the culmination of a great struggle in which, for once, it seemed that good had finally triumphed. The knowledge of everything that lies behind this image makes it breathtaking. I think there are few South Africans (or any other citizens of the world) who could stand before it and not, for at least a moment, be moved and humbled.

The photographic record is a remarkable thing for in the background we see the future that was. Behind Mandela awaiting his turn to cast his vote is our current and controversial president, Jacob Zuma.

That which was merely an interesting detail several years ago, now seems placed by fate. This is the magic of photography in its relationship to time. The image is never finite, complete and total in itself; it is a fragment of the actual, linked firmly to the past and the future, and its fascination and value only increase.

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