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IT’S HERE: TJ & Double Negative by David Goldblatt and Ivan Vladislavic

TJA unique event in publishing: the work of a world-renowned photographer and a world-class novelist brought together in one collector’s edition

TJ & Double Negative is the product of the collaboration of two of the finest creative individuals at work in South Africa today, a photographer and a novelist, on a project that is the city of Johannesburg.

“Johannesburg is a fragmented city. It is not a place of smoothly integrated parts. And it has a name that does not roll easily off the tongue.” So begins David Goldblatt’s introduction to TJ: The Various Names of Johannesburg, a book of photographs of Johannesburg, the City of Gold, Chowburg, eGoli, Jozi, Goutini, Duiwel’s Dorp. Commencing in the 1950s, his masterful lens probes, documents and comments on life over six decades in this incomparable African city. Selected form a massive body of work, this superb distillation presents a unique pictorial history of the city.

A new novel by Ivan Vladislavić is the partner of the book of photographs, in a sleeved set beautifully produced in Italy. In Double Negative, a young man in Johannesburg receives from a senior photographer an induction into the intricate nature of photography and artistic representation. “If,” he says, “I try to imagine the lives going on in all these houses, the domestic dramas, the family sagas, it seems impossibly complicated. How could you ever do justice to something so rich in detail? You couldn’t do it in a novel, let alone a photograph.” The novel traces the young man as he heads into his career that takes him overseas and back, developing in the proces an ever widening perspective on not only the social and political change in the country but also on questions to do with observation and the observing subject. It brings into sharp focus the history of South Africa’s recent past and the difficulty of imaging and re-imagining it.

About the authors
Ivan Vladislavić was born in Pretoria and lives in Johannesburg. He is one of South Africa’s foremost contemporary authors and, as an editor, has worked with many of South Africa’s major writers.

David Goldblatt was born in 1930 in Randfontein. His work can be found in the collections of the National Gallery in Cape Town, the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Barcelona. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the prestigious Hasselblad Foundation International Award in 2006.

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