Wednesday, September 26, 2012

"Ways of Looking" - Andrew Barker Walkabout at Kalk Bay Modern

Andrew Barker will be guiding a walkabout of his current exhibition at Kalk Bay Modern this coming Sunday 30th September at 11am and again on Saturday 6th October at 11am.

In the 'Arts' section of today's Cape Times, Suzy Bell writes eloquently about Andrew Barker's "chemical dreams" revealing subtle layers of this photographer's processes and vision.

"My intention, in this current work, is to show the use of a range of experimental procedures and ways of looking, which I hope may enhance my work and medium," says Barker.

Barker's fascination with the historical chemical printing processes may definitely influence the way he interprets his dreams but it is also his commitment to photographic traditions of the past that lends more to his final 'assemblages'.  "It is my personal quest to confront the slowness of my cameras and the working methods I choose.  I use older cameras... because it teaches me to understand more about my life, my sense of presence, and about the alchemical process of making and changing - to change within myself, and to change this thing now called photography," continues Barker.  "I do not take pictures as such, I feel I construct them painstakingly.  The process is using a camera as big as my torso..."

Despite the fact that Barker does not consider himself Zen, his professional and spiritual philosophies weave together with apparent ease when he says, "I just work with my heart.  Only then do the images become iconographic in their indigenous beauty... Mine [photographs] are more experimental procedures, which teaches me about suppleness and flexibility in my humanness.  The cumbersome and slow equipment teaches me to slow down and enjoy 'the grand ride'.  I believe in that expression that 'any artist does not know what reality is; let alone how to affect it'.  I have a different experience.  That is all that matters to me."

Monday, September 17, 2012

Opening night - Jurgen Schadeberg and Andrew Barker

Our photography exhibition featuring Jurgen Schadeberg's The Black and White Fifties and Andrew Barker's Alchemical Jargon opened on 12 September. We are proud to be the first gallery to host an exhibition for the 5th Month of Photography (MOP5) festival. Jenny Altschuler, Director of MOP, accomplished photographer and writer, inspiring teacher and mentor opened the exhibition for Jurgen Schadeberg. Jenny noted that even at the age of 80, Schadeburg was still working on mentorship projects with disadvantaged woman photographers showing his continued support and love for South Africa. Our exhibition shows many moments of joy with musicians, dancers and actors mixed in with the tragic images of resistance and disillusionment a true cultural documentation of our 50's past.

Andrew Barker is not unlike the photographic alchemists of old as he explores and reveals the alchemical roots of photography depicted in his sensitive tonal sketches. Andrew's work represents three photographic processes from his vintage collection of photographs with mimosa type paper toned in gold from silver halide emulsions to contemporary work with silver gelatin through to today's digital medias. For more info on the entire MOP5 festival find their schedule for exhibitions on - Yvette Stephen

Andrew Putter (foreground) and Andrew Barker in conversation with Justin Fisk and Nic Bladen.
Cheryl Rumback, Lacley Chinyanganya and Yvette Stephen

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Jurgen Schadeberg and Andrew Barker Photographic Exhibition

Kalk Bay Modern is pleased to present the first exhibition for The Month of Photography (MOP) featuring photographs by Jurgen Schadeberg, The Black and White Fifties and Andrew Barker's Alchemical Jargon series.

Opening: 12 Sepetember at 6pm. 

Monday, September 10, 2012


"I am always brought back to the question of how and why I make things with my own hands.  I am intrigued by the reverie created when light reacts with chemicals (Grotthus Law 1817), and the simplicity of the method it represents.

Like the Philosophers Stone, it allows me to transform and preserve the ephemeral events of everyday life and the stories it evokes, which I want to tell and want to endure. I do this in a manner that I hope captures something of the antique pioneering enthusiasm on which the method was founded.  But there may be danger in the method. Is it possible to narrate stories in this form, and make them contemporary and abreast of the times? I hope so.

The works I have chosen for this show contain my daydreams and fanciful illusions of the possibilities of producing photographic images. For me, they are feelings, chemicals, condensations, in simple expressive forms. I hope these works raise questions of artistic intent and representation. Of place, pose or poetry, of taking or making, and of reading the silent metaphysical tone and not merely the things represented.

These chemical dreams, I call them." Andrew Barker

About the photographer: 
Andrew Barker has been practicing photography for twenty years and has been a practitioner and lay-scholar of 19th and early 20th century photography for the last fifteen years. In this regard, he predominantly uses cameras from this period - such as mammoth-plate 10x12 inch cameras (and smaller ones too). He also specializes in ways of processing that combine the methods used during these periods with more modern, contemporary ones. He has learned his skills through extensive research, and by experimentation and practice. 

Andrew has kept his work private for many years. Nevertheless recently he has begun to exhibit some of his work

Washing Line


Jurgen Schadeberg - THE BLACK & WHITE FIFTIES

An insightful collection of photographs from South Africa's past, featuring portraits from Schadeberg's work with Drum magazine to Nelson Mandela during the Treason Trial, forced removals from Sophiatown, the night life of jazz musicians and dancers as well as enigmatic scenes of township life.

"When I arrived in South Africa in 1950 from Germany I found two societies running in parallel with each other without any communication whatsoever.  There was an invisible wall between the two worlds. The Black World, or "Non European World" as described by white society, was culturally and economically rejected by the White World. Only servants and menial workers could enter the White World.

In the fifties The Black World was becoming culturally and politically very dynamic, whereas the White World seemed to me to be isolated, cocooned, colonial and ignorant of the Black World. In the fifties The Black World was becoming culturally and politically very dynamic, whereas the White World seemed to me to be isolated, cocooned, colonial and ignorant of the Black World. These images from the vibrant fifties Black World, "the rejected society", have been extensively covered in South Africa because I felt it was important that both blacks and whites should see what the Verwoerdian ideology had successfully destroyed." Jurgen Schadeberg

 About the photographer:
Jurgen Schadeberg was born in Berlin in 1931 and, while still in his teens, worked as an apprentice photographer for a German Press Agency in Hamburg. In 1950 he emigrated to South Africa and became Chief Photographer, Picture Editor and Art Director on Drum Magazine.

It was during this time that Jurgen photographed pivotal moments in the lives of South Africans in the fifties. These photographs represent the life and struggle of South Africans during Apartheid and include important figures in South Africa’s history such as Nelson Mandela, Moroka, Walter Sisulu, Yusuf Dadoo, Huddleston and many others who have been documented at key moments such as during The Defiance Campaign of 1952, The Treason Trial of 1958, The Sophiatown Removals and the Sharpeville Funeral in 1960.

Schadeberg's images also capture key personalities and events in the jazz and literary world such as the Sophiatown jazz scene with Dolly Rathebe, Miriam Makeba, Hugh Masekela and Kippie Moeketsi.

Jurgen Schadeberg, sometimes known as “The Father of South African Photography”, is a principle figure in South African and World Photography. His major body of work, which spans 60 years and incorporates a collection of some 100,000 negatives, captures a wealth of timeless and iconic images.

Miriam Makeba, Johannesburg 1955