From the pen of Leon Krige: “I have not shown these, so it could become an exhibition of its own. Perhaps with the watercolours I did in military camp at Heidelberg just before I worked in ‘Alex’. Of particular interest are two large nocturnes done a month ago in London road, Alexandra Township, between 9pm and 11pm at night. These two eminated from the top of a rubbish dump, mostly concrete and barbed wire. They took just over an hour to shoot as long exposures stitched together in the same way that I do the city nocturnes. My goal is to capture the experience of nocturnal Johannesburg in its totality.
Between 1990-92, I did a small daycare clinic in Alex East bank, so my connection to ‘Alex’ dates back to that intense period. I was doing military service, but because I refused to fire a weapon in Heidelberg, they let me design this community clinic. I also still have the drawings I did of army tents on scrap paper, as we obviously weren’t allowed to photograph.
Its quite fascinating to see these drawings against the ‘Alex’ Nocturnes, as the lines of the tents speak to wires & cables of Alex. A few days after the shoot, I wrote this text to capture the memory in my own head.
Hypnotically intriguing like a moth to a flame. Exquisitely disturbing, reminded me of military service in brown tents with tension wires under surveillance lighting. The smell is haunting at night, almost like chemical warfare under the orange sodium lights! Scary beautiful, its like a kind of Gaza strip no man’s land at night, crazy drivers, very few sober men, rats darting across the sodium rivers…District 9~for real…
At ten thirty, everything started to shut down, deserted orange roads with concrete barricades, occasionally erratic car-lights swerved wildly, shacks & pavements cloaked in the orange dust like a deserted mining camp.
I think I got some great images, only four composite images in two hours. The two biggest ones from the top of a rubbish dump. Painstakingly processing each raw file individually before stitching huge panoramics.
Leon Krige is an acclaimed photographer and architect. He lectures Architectural Theory & Design at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa. Krige generously donated two limited edition photographs of ‘Alex South’ (2/6 & 3/6), the spectacular nocturnal photographic artwork of Alexandra Township, north of Johannesburg to HYF to aid efforts in raising funds for the Breast Health Foundation in South Africa. Alex South 2/6 have been sold with 3/6 available in the HYF SHOP. All Krige’s donations are from his nocturnal “CITIES OF THE SOUTH” collection.
Visit the HYF SHOP to purchase LEON KRIGE art.