Skip to content
In a family outfitting store, Boksburg
David Goldblatt
Artwork 1980
David Goldblatt's black-and-white photograph 'In a family outfitting store, Boksburg' shows women gathered in a store, surrounded by shoes.
Artwork: David Goldblatt, In a family outfitting store, Boksburg (1980). Silver gelatin print on fibre-based paper. 36.5 x 43.5 cm. Private collection.
Artist David Goldblatt Title In a family outfitting store, Boksburg Date 1980 Materials Silver gelatin print on fibre-based paper Dimensions 36.5 x 43.5 cm Edition Edition of 10 Credit Private collection

This photograph is included in In Boksburg (first edition), 1982, and In Boksburg (second edition), 2015.

“I was drawn,” the late photographer David Goldblatt wrote, “not to the events of the time but to the quiet and commonplace where nothing ‘happened’ and yet all was contained and immanent.” A preeminent chronicler of South African life under apartheid and after, Goldblatt bore witness to how this life is written on the land, in its structures or their absence. Unconcerned with documenting significant historic moments, his photographs stand outside the events of the time and yet are eloquent of them. Through Goldblatt’s lens, the prosaic reveals a telling poignancy. Even in those images that appear benign, much is latent in them – histories and politics, desires and dread. His photographs are quietly critical reflections on the values and conditions that have shaped the country; those structures both ideological and tangible. Among his most notable photobooks are On the Mines (1973), Some Afrikaners Photographed (1975), In Boksburg (1982), The Structure of Things Then (1998), and Particulars (2003).