2020 Johannesburg, ZA

AfterImages: Ponte Archive

Counter-archives

About

We’d like to tell you a clean tall story. A story which is not ours to tell. But don’t worry, it’s only a story. Watch out, some might believe the story. That will make it the truth.

Counterspace collaborated with Denise Lim to produce a series of drawings towards Lim’s PHD praxis, centring Ponte City.              

During the early 2000’s Ponte Tower was renovated and the extensive collection of ‘trash’ in its centre, cleared away—marking the end of its ‘dark period’. This clean-up was significant in its unspoken message that the period of ‘lawlessness’ was being replaced by the silently performed invitation for bodies of power to return to the space.

An archaeology of anthropological objects were discovered in the ‘trash’  – family photos, visa applications, tenancy documents dated to a 1980’s Apartheid South Africa. The drawings are intimates of anonymity. Weaving together visual stories, reconstructing lived moments. We don’t know the people connected to the objects. But their life in the building forms part of an undocumented history of tenure in Hillbrow when it was a grey zone. These stories and lives around this skyscraper have tentacles into deep worlds of city-making, bureaucracies, migration, pop culture, economies.

Images



Notes

  • Categories
    Publishing, Research,
  • Geography:

    Doornfontein, Johannesburg South Africa

  • Collaborators:

    Denise Lim

  • Image credits:

    The Geology of Southern Africa, Sidney Haughton

     

    The archive of objects is currently at SFMOMA with the works of Mikhael Subotsky

     

    Subotzky, Mikhael and Patrick Waterhouse. Ponte City Archive. 2008-2014. Component 6 – Found Document Explosion. San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco.

     

    Subotzky, Mikhael and Patrick Waterhouse. Ponte City Archive. 2008-2014. Component 6 – Found Document Explosion. San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco.

     

    Subotzky, Mikhael and Patrick Waterhouse. Ponte City Archive. 2008-2014. Component 6 – Found Document Explosion. San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco.

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