Vladislavic & Goldblatt shine at Sony World Photographic Awards


Ivan Vladislavic and David Goldblatt's collaborative project, TJ & DOUBLE NEGATIVE won the prestigious Kraszna-Krausz Award for Best Photographic Book at the Sony World Photography Awards at the Odeon Leicester Square on Wednesday, 27 April 2011 - auspiciously, also South African's Freedom Day, the annual anniversary celebration of the country's first democratic elections.

The beautiful collectors' edition was designed by Cyn van Houten and published by Roberto Koch of Contrasto in Rome, with Frederik de Jager of Umuzi publishing the South African edition. As he accepted his prize, Ivan Vladislavic said that though this particular five-year project was complete, David Goldblatt continued to inspire him, both in his life and his work.

In this unique collaboration between two giants of the South African cultural scene, a special edition volume of David Goldblatt's  TJ - images of Johannesburg shot over forty years -  is accompanied by Ivan Vladislaviċ's novel DOUBLE NEGATIVE, detailing the fragmented experiences of living in that city.  Together the two works create a dialogue between word and image, balancing both Goldblatt's rigorous research and Vladislavic's narrative fiction. The resulting project describes a difficult metropolis scarred by the history of apartheid, symbolic of contemporary South Africa.

Judges Mary McCartney (Chair), David Campany and Yuka Yamaji comment:
"Goldblatt and Vladislaviċ's ambitious project explores the relationship between text and image. A highly effective pairing of fiction and photography, this innovative collaboration redefines the possibilities for writing on and about photography."

A new award for Outstanding Contribution to Publishing was presented to German publisher Gerhard Steidl by last year's Best Photography Book Award winner, Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky and the World Photographic Organisation also awarded American photographer Bruce Davidson an award for Outstanding Contribution to Photography. An exhibition of highly recommended books from each award, curated by the judging panels, is on display at Somerset House for the duration of the World Photography Festival and Exhibition from 26 April - 22 May.

Ivan Vladislavić's DOUBLE NEGATIVE is published as a standalone novel in South Africa by Umuzi, and is shortlisted for the University of Johannesburg Award. In DOUBLE NEGATIVE apartheid-era university drop-out Neville Lister is in danger, his father thinks, of 'falling in with the wrong crowd' and so is sent to eminent photographer Saul Auerbach -
'a man of strong convictions, but who has learned to direct them' - to gain some sense of perspective and direction. And so begins a delicate, funny and beautifully written exploration of the art of depiction, of the haunting power of photographs - those 'odd little memorials that owe so much to chance and intuition'. In three sections - 'Available Light', 'Dead Letters', and 'Small Talk' - this spare yet memorable novel tracks the changing city of Johannesburg and Neville's path to career success - though that first day and what they saw, and what Saul Auerbach photographed then, are things he will never forget. DOUBLE NEGATIVE is a brilliant meditation on our ways of seeing and recording, on how and what we remember, and the art of being lost.

Praise for Ivan Vladislavić

'One of the most imaginative minds at work in South African literature today.' -- André Brink

'Vladislavić is without doubt the most significant writer in South Africa today.' -- Focus on Africa

'Vladislavić is a rare, brilliant writer.' -- Sunday Times (SA)