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SANTU MOFOKENG FOR TAXI (article first published : 2002-01-6)

The TaXi Art Book Series on contemporary South African artists was initiated by the French Institute of South Africa (IFAS) and is published by David Krut Publishing in Johannesburg. The project is substantially supported by foreign funding from the French Embassy, Pro Helvetia - Arts Council of Switzerland, the Royal Netherlands Embassy and the MTN Art Institute of Johannesburg. It is envisaged by the sponsors as a long-term, non-profit cultural investment that will provide exposure for local artists and writers.

Leading South African art critic, Brenda Atkinson, is the editor of the series with a new author being chosen for each publication. The TaXi Art Books are written in English and translated into French and Dutch.

The latest book in the TaXi Art Book Series features Santu Mofokeng. Born in Johannesburg in 1956, he began his photographic career informally as a street photographer in Soweto. In the early 1980's, he set out to pursue photography in earnest, mostly through documentary coverage of political activity at the time. Having won several awards and staged numerous exhibitions in the interim, he is now recognised as one of South Africa's foremost photographers whose work has contributed to re-situating the role of the medium in the country's history.

Engaging subjects as diverse as religious ritual, black middle-class identities and the signifying potential of landscape, he upsets the comfort zones of racial and cultural memory, always fore-grounding the ideological role of representation. Based in Johannesburg, Mofokeng works as a freelance curator, writer, researcher and photographer.

Each title in the series is published together with a TaXi Art Educational Supplement which has been researched and written by Philippa Hobbs of the MTN Art Institute. These supplements contain worksheets for art students and guidelines for teachers. They are designed specifically for broad subject integration in senior high school curricula and can be adapted for informal art training as well as tertiary institutions.

The year 2001 saw the publication of four titles on local artists: Jo Ractliffe, Samson Mudzunga, Jeremy Wafer and now Santu Mofokeng. These monographs were all written by highly competent authors and put together by emerging young designers.

The book consists of 96 pages with 48 pages of duotone images and is available in bookshops and galleries nationwide.

More information from Bettina Schultz - David Krut Publishing on 011 646-8595 or e-mail bettina@taxiartbooks.com Or visit www.taxiartbooks.com




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