Ponte City — Autopsie d’un rêve architectural en Afrique du Sud (1975-2013)
Autopsie d’un rêve architectural en Afrique du Sud (1975-2013)
Past: January 23 → April 20, 2014
Le BAL presents the last and epic project of South-African photographer Mikhael Subotzky and British artist Patrick Waterhouse concerned with a single Johannesburg building: Ponte City.
“Some of these stories are actually true (…). And yet, one is left with the feeling that even the building’s notoriety is somewhat exaggerated — that its decline is just as fictional as its initial utopian intentions were misplaced and unrealized.”
Mikhael Subotzky et Patrick Waterhouse
Ponte City has been the symbol of prosperity under apartheid and white supremacy, of the collapse of the city center in the 1990s, and finally of the multi-ethnic renewal in this new century: it has witnessed the throes of a never-ending changing society. During five years, Mikhael Subotzky and Patrick Waterhouse investigated the tower’s various and sometimes contradictory dimensions. By the accumulation of signs, their work has been slowly made up by layers, strata, only then to be included in a long process. As a culmination of this immersion, the exhibition confronts various stories: historical data (maps, brochures, press clippings…), images and vernacular texts which have been abandoned by generations of migrant, recurring architectural elements of the 40 floors, characters who give the tower a voice, poetic scenes of daily life.
“Today life in Ponte goes on, as ordinary and extraordinary as life anywhere else. But the building is still enveloped in contending projections. It remains a focal point of the city’s dreams and nightmares, seen as refuge or monstrosity, dreamland or dystopia, a lightning rod for a society’s hopes and fears, and always a beacon to navigate by.”
6, impasse de la Défense
T. 01 44 70 75 50
Friday, noon – 8 PM
Saturday, 11 AM – 8 PM
Sunday, 11 AM – 7 PM
Late night on Thursday until 10 PM
Late night on Wednesday until 9 PM
Full rate €6.00 — Concessions €4.00