The competition for our cover was a huge success, and we were spoilt for choice with many Joburg-inspired images to choose from. While we could only choose one work for our cover, we have picked four others that were very close contenders.
Brenton Maart & Jodi Bieber
Brenton Maart’s creative and professional activities span eight disciplines, and include design programmes, curatorial works, institutional collaborations, editorial projects, cultural activism, visual art and an interest in the application of creative archival practice.
Jodi Bieber’s professional career began after attending three short courses at the Market Photography Workshop in Johannesburg, and covering the 1994 democratic elections in South Africa for The Star newspaper. A turning point was Bieber’s selection to participate in the World Press Masterclass held in the Netherlands in 1996. This opened the door to travel the world on assignments for international magazines and NGOs. The artist has won numerous international awards, including the Premier Award at World Press Photo in 2010. Bieber continued during this time to pursue personal projects, and currently most of the artist’s time is spent working in this way. Bieber also mentors students, producing projects and lectures, and also gives photographic workshops all over the world.
# i is a public art poster campaign conceptualised by Bieber and designed by Maart. It features 45 young people from Johannesburg aged between 15 and 23 – a generation that did not grow up under apartheid, and that has the ability to access and communicate using technologies that integrate them within a larger global community. In the campaign, the visions of these young people are expressed in their words, photographs from their phones, their portraits photographed by Bieber, and in the environmental portraits created through Maart’s graphic design. Their experiences are highly specific to their life in Johannesburg, but in many ways may also be read as a barometer for the rest of South Africa. The public art component of the work – where members of the public may select a poster to take away with them – creates a future life of the artwork. The campaign was commissioned by, and first shown, at the Women’s Jail, Constitution Hill, 2018.