In Situ: Stories of Johannesburg High-Rises

Mpho Mokgadi

In Situ: Stories of Johannesburg High-Rises reflects on the contemporary state of several key architectural structures in Johannesburg’s inner city, a place where everyone meets for a better life. The body of work comprises views of some well-loved landmark structures and their stark interiors.

The selection intentionally places emphasis on the absence of the figurative. Several of these buildings, like dormant vaults, carry the names of the giant corporate entities that were directly responsible for, or invested in, their construction. Many of them were a result of the architectural boom that occurred at the height of apartheid-era economic prosperity, and were built on the backs of the very people it sought to exclude. One cannot ignore the troubling legacy that these structures denote. 


Mpho Mokgadi was born in Pretoria and is based in Zurich. He completed the Advanced Programme in Photography at the Market Photo Workshop in Johannesburg (2013) and has been featured in African Photography Network, and the blogs Dynamic Africa and Between10and5. His group exhibitions include New Black and White Photography (6 Spin Street, Cape Town, 2013); African Film Collective (Exposure Gallery, Johannesburg, 2012); and the Joburg Fringe as part of a presentation of works by Market Photo Workshop alumni (2015). Mokgadi was awarded the SA Taxi Foundation Award top 5 (2017), was a finalist in the Absa l’Atelier art competition (2017) and was selected for the 11th edition of Bamako Encounters in Mali (2017). He was nominated for the Gabriele Basilico Prize for Architecture Photography in 2020.

How to cite this article:
Mpho Mokgadi (2024), "In Situ: Stories of Johannesburg High-Rises" in JCAF Journal: Interdisciplinary Knowledge from the South No. 1. Accessed 24 April 2024.