Pieter Hugo Brings Us Eye-to-Eye
P. Hugo, Nollywood, Prestel, 2009, cover and n.p.
Pieter Hugo: This Must Be The Place, Prestel, 2012, p. 113
Michael Stevenson, Cape Town
One of South Africa’s leading photographers, Pieter Hugo documents the people and landscapes of Africa. Hugo is interested in capturing images of the continent’s marginalized peoples, including the blind, albinos, and AIDS victims in their coffins. His best-known series, “The Hyena and Other Men” (2005-07), depicts itinerant minstrels in Nigeria who perform with pet hyenas and other wild animals. In his series “Permanent Error” (2009-10), Hugo captures the people and landscape of an expansive technology dump of obsolete technology in Ghana. Though he lists David Goldblatt and Boris Mikhailov as influences, Hugo’s work counters the thread of realism in South African photography the two represent. “I am of a generation that approaches photography with a keen awareness of the problems inherent in pointing a camera at anything,” he says.
South African, b. 1976, Cape Town, South Africa