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    Sate of the Nation

    CAPE TOWN — The South African Police Service force raging protesters away from parliament during President Jacob Zuma’s 2016 State of the Nation Address.

    Tension rises alongside the #ZumaMustFall movement after one of many charges for corruption following the president’s R246-million security upgrade of his private home, and then a significant drop in value of the countries currency.

    The African National Congress (yellow and green) rally together in support for the president while accusing the Democratic Alliance of being racist towards black South Africans. The Economic Freedom Fighters (red) call for a revolution while demanding that the president pay back the money and hand over the reigns.

    A cat-and-mouse ensues as police fire stun grenades in attempt to prevent collision between opposing parties.

  • Thumbnail for Nil* (work in progress)

    Nil* (work in progress)

    In this series, Coetzee extracts ten images from a larger, collaborative body of work titled Nil. In this series Coetzee uses the concept of The Struggle to depict the historico-politico and socio-economic space of post-Apartheid, post-Colonial South Africa. Once in power, the oppressed tend to mimic the mannerisms of their previous oppressors, becoming the oppressor, birthing a New Struggle.

  • Thumbnail for Kogelberg - 34 19 21.0 S 18 57 58.2 E.

    Kogelberg - 34 19 21.0 S 18 57 58.2 E.

    Folding, faulting, metamorphosing plates of earth, these quiet monuments of time echo a tale of immense force. These mountains will outlive you and me.

  • Thumbnail for Clutter* (work in progress)

    Clutter* (work in progress)

    An ensemble of loose images that have no home.

  • Thumbnail for Kempton Park Hospital

    Kempton Park Hospital

    The Kempton Park Hospital was abandoned, fully equipped, in 1997. Bureaucratic indecision and tender wars have kept it unused for 14 years, costing the South African taxpayers over R800 000 a year to safeguard. It is potentially more profitable to someone influential shut rather than open and serving the public.

    The series emphasises the crushing failure of civilisation to evolve beyond the labyrinth of self-interest and highlights what might have been.

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    Coronation Park

    Coronation Park was a public park where a residential community has formed, living in caravans, tree houses, tents, wendy houses and other makeshift shelters. Some of them earn money through part-time work, and they also receive donations of food and clothing from the Vryheidsfront Plus, who introduced me to the community.

    I felt strangely comfortable in the campfire and braai atmosphere.

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    plant my op ‘n heuwel naby ‘n dam onder leeubekkies
    laat die sluwe bitter eende op my graf kak
    in die reën

    Breyten Breytenbach
    “Bedreiging van die siekes”, die ysterkoei moet sweet, 1964

  • Thumbnail for Open Spaces Vol II

    Open Spaces Vol II

    Open Spaces Vol. ii expels the overt fixation with the ‘other’ from documentary photography, whilst allowing a degree of voyeuristic pleasure to remain intact.
    In the silence of such absenteeism, an ‘architecture of time’ presents itself.

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    I flicker, I decline

    A dark figure wonders into the frame at sunrise, dominant but alluring. The burning bush set beside her in the landscape initiates a light within that she curiously but reluctantly responds to. So she makes her journey across the barren earth, subtly unpeeling her rigid stance, layer by layer.

    Purity is the salt of the earth. Shot on a saltpan outside Uitenhage, in the Eastern Cape, one notices how the natural elements have left the landscape dry. The earth is brutally battered by the harsh seasons, but after a drought, this particular piece of ground produces salt.

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    A photographic diptych referring to ‘presence in the absence’. References to incomplete architectural structures speak of loneliness and the pasts well as lost traces of humanity. The meaning and conclusion of these references are left open ended.

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    Jesus saves rainbow chickens.

    The structures and symbols of religion are such familiar signs in the South African cityscape, that they are almost impossible to defarmiliarise. They speak of the perpetual human insistence that there is more, that there is something beyond the here and now. The church building and the sign Jesus Saves articulate a profound hope in the midst of an encroaching landscape.

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    Arlington Dwellers

    “Where they smile in secret, looking over wasted lands,
    Blight and famine, plague and earthquake, roaring deep and fiery sands
    Clanging fights, and flaming towns and sinking ships, and praying hands.”

    Lord Tennyson - The Lotus Eaters

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    Elizabeth's Doors

    “My place is neither here nor here –
    And see: my jacket, soaked with beer.”

    I do not know who sleeps here, but the occupants of these doorways in Port Elizabeth leave signatures as clear as any artist or author.

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    Color of Night

    Night hold different portents for each individual. What night brings is subjective. Long exploited as a tool for exacting obedience from children, it is no wonder that the night evokes mystery, and the promise of concealment.

  • Thumbnail for Open Spaces Vol I

    Open Spaces Vol I

    These places have changed hands many times. They are the result of a chain of intense human activity: domestic, commercial or communal - end products of abandoned investments in desire and ambition.

  • Thumbnail for A Dried Heart

    A Dried Heart

    A dried heart of a bat carried in a pocket will make a bullet turn or stop one from bleeding to death.

    The bat was photographed exactly as it was found on a street in Central Port Elizabeth. The bat displays a wound opposite where one would presume his heart to be.

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    The Railway

    Hulks of earlier industrial eras inhabit space in a manner not dissimilar to the way a mammoth skeleton might occupy a Pleistocene tarpit.