All that it is....all that it was...

Several years have passed now since these images were taken, since that time where my path would cross those with a man whose name I would never learn in that world by the sea that some would call the Mother City.

One morning in Cape Town, just before Christmas, a man thirty-six years into his life would die, and as is the want of the strange and arbitrary collisions of our world; a stranger from England would photograph his hand laid out upon a
red blanket a few hours after his death.

In the passing months since this time, I’ve often thought about this moment, about the stillness and silence of the room, and of the muted laughter outside in the sun beyond the slightly open door of the morgue. Of course, these
images are indeed, as André Bazin cites, the death masks of a time that has gone forever; yet the feelings that I experienced as I wandered for two months through the city of Cape Town still remain and perhaps will never leave me.

Beyond the underlining premise of observing the city and the varied spaces within, I was interested too in attempting to examine the psychology of those who lived with the fraught realities of the city by constructing images that
imbued an air of introspection and anxiety.

What is clear is that since 2010, 73% of South Africans will be city dwellers. In this sense, for the first time the city will be the meeting place for the majority of its citizens and therefore the theatre where the nation’s anxieties
will be enacted and lived.

Through my images, I do not pretend to give answers, but instead, I hope to open up a window of discussion that attempts to examine the ways in which people are inevitably and yet unconsciously marked by the past, by the
fragmented and transitory spaces of the present and finally by the irreconcilable realities of the future.


Andrew Jackson

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