Percorsi | Writers and Photographers

A One-Day Derive in Johannesburg: Ivan Vladislavić’s and David Goldblatt’s Photo-Text between Flânerie and Psychogeography


Abstract


Among the South African writers, Vladislavić’s interest in the Fine Arts and the Visual Arts leads him both to relate literature to photography and to cooperate with artists in various projects. His well-known Double Negative 2012 (2010), a novel accompanying the photographic album by David Goldblatt, TJ. Johannesburg Photographs 1948-2010, has already attracted the attention of another writer/photographer, the New York based Nigerian novelist Teju Cole, and several comments by South African critics, among them Johan Jacobs and Stephen Clingman. It is an extremely interesting example of an attempt at creating a dialogue between the complementary arts of poiesis and images. Double Negative and TJ create a double-bind dynamics of reading/gazing through two works, two media, two languages, two semiotic and rhetorical systems that also guide the reader through the History of South Africa between pre- and post-apartheid, up to the threshold of the digital era. The aim of this contribution is to position ourselves along the horizon of the interpreters of the photographic art (with Benjamin, Barthes, Sontag) and to detect the various possible intermedial interrelations (Debord, W.J.T. Mitchell) between the “fictional” narrative and the “real” photos, between the ethical and the aesthetic vision of two major contemporary South African artists.

Parole chiave

South African Literature, Photography, Post-Apartheid, Vladislavić, Goldblatt.

Full Text

PDF (English)


DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13135/2281-6658/3111

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