Gabi Ngcobo © Sabelo Mlangeni; Oluremi C. Onabanjo, Manhattan, 2020 © Sean D. Henry Smith; Jo Ractliffe © Paul Samuels


David Goldblatt and Beyond

A Panel Discussion with Gabi Ngcobo, Oluremi C. Onabanjo, and Jo Ractliffe

Tuesday, Mar 23, 2021

Marking the final days of the exhibition David Goldblatt: Strange Instrument at Pace Gallery in New York, curated by Zanele Muholi, this panel discussion brings together three distinguished voices in contemporary art and photographic practice.

Curator and educator Gabi Ngcobo, critic and scholar Oluremi C. Onabanjo, and photographer Jo Ractliffe will join in conversation about Goldblatt’s work, life, and legacy. The discussion will be moderated by Oliver Shultz, Curatorial Director at Pace.

David Goldblatt (1930–2018) devoted his seven-decade career to documenting South Africa at the height of apartheid and after, producing brutal yet beautiful images that capture the lives of others with compassion, nuance, and rigor. Focusing on questions of ethics, empathy, care, and access surrounding Goldblatt’s work—and in documentary and photographic practice more broadly—the panel considers the lives and histories captured in his images, as well as the influence of his work on subsequent generations of photographers and artists working in Johannesburg, South Africa, and beyond, in particular through the renowned Market Photo Workshop, which Goldblatt founded in 1989

Event Details

David Goldblatt and Beyond: A Panel Discussion with Gabi Ngcobo, Oluremi C. Onabanjo, and Jo Ractliffe
Tuesday, Mar 23, 2021


Registration for this event is closed. For any questions regarding events, please contact us at

How to Watch

This event has concluded.

Gabi Ngcobo

Gabi Ngcobo is an artist, curator and educator living in Johannesburg, South Africa. Since the early 2000s Ngcobo has been engaged in collaborative artistic, curatorial, and educational projects in South Africa and on an international scope. Recently curatorial projects include All in a Day’s Eye: The Politics of Innocence in the Javett Family Collection, at the Javett Art Centre- University of Pretoria (Javett-UP), Mating Birds at the KZNSA Gallery, Durban. In 2018 she curated the 10th Berlin Biennale titled We don’t need another hero and was one of the co-curators of the 32nd Sao Paulo Bienal (2016). She is a founding member of the Johannesburg based collaborative platforms NGO – Nothing Gets Organised (2016-) and Center for Historical Reenactments (2010–14). Ngcobo’s writing have been published in various publications including The Stronger We Become the catalogue of the South African Pavilion, Venice (2019), Public Intimacy: Art and Other Ordinary Acts in South Africa, YBCA/SFMOMA (2014), We Are Many: Art, the Political and Multiple Truths, Verbier Art Summit (2019) and Texte Zur Kunst September 2017. In November 2020 Ngcobo was appointed Curatorial Director at the Javett-UP.

Oluremi Onabanjo

Oluremi C. Onabanjo is a curator and scholar of photography and the arts of Africa based in New York City. The former Director of Exhibitions and Collections for The Walther Collection, she has organized exhibitions in Europe, North America, and Africa. In 2017 she co-curated Recent Histories: Contemporary African Photography, and edited its accompanying publication (Steidl), which was shortlisted for an ICP Infinity Award in Critical Writing and Research (2018). Onabanjo lectures internationally on photography and curatorial practice, and her writing has appeared in Aperture, The New Yorker, The Photobook Review, Tate Etc. and publications supported by The Museum of Modern Art, RISD Museum, and The Studio Museum in Harlem amongst others.

A 2020 Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grantee, Onabanjo is a PhD candidate in Art History at Columbia University. She holds an MSc in Visual, Material, and Museum Anthropology from Oxford University, and a BA in African Studies from Columbia University.

Jo Ractliffe

Since the 1980s, Jo Ractliffe’s photographs have reflected her ongoing preoccupation with the South African landscape and the ways in which it figures in the country’s imaginary, particularly the violent legacies of apartheid. In 2007 she began documenting the aftermath of the war in Angola and its repercussions back in South Africa. This work was manifest in three photobooks: Terreno Ocupado (2008), As Terras do Fim do Mundo (2010) and The Borderlands (2013).

Since 1985 Ractliffe has taught within formal and informal contexts including Wits University, the Market Photo Workshop, and the Salzburg Summer Academy. She has also initiated independent public projects that engage photography to reflect on history and memory in South Africa. A retrospective of her work is currently on show at the Art Institute of Chicago in August 2020 and Steidl has just published a book on her work.

  • Events — David Goldblatt and Beyond: A Panel Discussion with Gabi Ngcobo, Oluremi C. Onabanjo, and Jo Ractliffe, Mar 23, 2021