South African writer Ivan Vladislavić has worked often with artists and especially with photographers. He will discuss the value of working in response – or resistance – to visual images.
Vladislavić’s works include The Restless Supermarket (2001); Double Negative (2010), Portrait with Keys (2006), The Loss Library (2012) and A Labour of Moles (2011). He has collaborated with and written on key visual arts, including painting, photography, and architecture.
South Africa is a fascinating modernity – images of idyllic landscape matched with those of cities and race relations that remain challenging, even twenty years after apartheid. Ivan Vladislavić is the most powerful of a new generation of South African writers who, after and beyond Coetzee, see home in South Africa’s cities rather than in its outer landscapes. His work reaches into built space, into architecture after apartheid, and enters the labyrinth of the security culture which overwhelms everyday life in cities like Johannesburg. Vladislavić’s work delivers a critical sociology presented of everyday life in literary form. It works tropes of humour and irony, more than romance or tragedy. The quality of his writing is special, if not unique.