The Street That You’re On, The Same One You Know, 2023, installation view
STEVENSON is pleased to present The Street That You’re On, The Same One You Know, a new body of work by Guy Tillim. The artist’s first exhibition in Parktown North features a selection of images from cities and urban spaces spanning Accra, Dakar, Maputo, Cagliari, Harare, Dar Es Salaam, Berlin and São Paulo, dating from 2007 to 2022.
The images in this body of work are in colour and black and white. Some, through Tillim’s treatment of shadow and contrast, possess a cinematic quality while others, seemingly taken in the peak of the midday sun, offer a stark look at the bustle and aridity of different metropolitan environments.
The work operates in the register of documentary street photography, however some images are stitched diptychs that create reconstructions of each space, resulting in a composite picture of each locale, while remaining attentive to the specificity of each geography, including landmarks and monuments. In some images elements and figures are inserted and erased.
The Street That You’re On, The Same One You Know marks the latest chapter in Tillim’s ongoing project of observing place as a signifier for the logics of power, while affirming the dynamism and endurance of the human lives featured. An extract from Living on the Earth, a 2005 text on the artist’s approach by Renate Wiehager, proves prescient:
Tillim does not treat [his] series as a closed corpus and historical document, but as elements and compressions in a reading that never comes to an end. For this reason, Tillim is prepared to undertake publication in any form – as an exhibition, as a book, as a selected presentation in a wider context – and will make the effort to ‘reread’ and recontextualize, for individual images and whole series.
In other words, he arranges his material in a new way for every public form, creates new neighbourhoods, correspondences and fractures, creates other possible stories from the story material. Alien ideologies and cultures, other times and opposing value-systems subject each individual photograph to a reading that raises an individual point of view to the status of a standard; Guy Tillim, by permanently rearranging and rereading his material, anticipates the geological faults of a present that never stands still, in a process of interpretation and self-interpretation.
Tillim shows concurrently with Thato Toeba. The exhibitions open Saturday 13 May, 10am to 1pm.