Guy Tillim

Bella Vista, Luanda, Angola

2001, printed 2005?
South African photographer Guy Tillim has travelled throughout Africa photographing in areas of conflict and war. His photographs depart from a “straight” documentary approach, in that he often slightly blurs his images. This technique, more often associated with the romantic tendencies of pictorialism, has the effect of holding the viewer’s engagement with the work. It is also descriptive of the photographer’s reflections on his relationship with his subject matter. As Tillim says: “These moments are elusive, alluring for being so. My brand of idealism that had its roots in the time I started photographing in South Africa during the apartheid years of the 1980s has dimmed. There was right and wrong, it seemed clear to me which side I stood. One would forego what I might now call subtlety, for the sake of making a statement about injustice. The world’s press set the tone and timbre of the reportage it would receive, and I for one was bought by it. Perhaps that is why I now look for ways to glimpse other worlds, which I attempt to enter for a while. But one cannot live them all, and usually I am left with a keen sense of my own dislocation.”
Bella Vista, Luanda, Angola
2001, printed 2005?
ink jet print, monochrome
61 x 83.4 cm; image: 49.1 x 73.5 cm
South African
Credit line
Purchased 2006
Accession number