The Nature of Photography

What is it that keeps us looking, imaging, clicking and scrolling.  

In a world full of images, amongst the millions of photographs being created and shared each day, we take in visual content and form at the speed of light, never growing tired of the sheer mass of scenes, viewpoints and snippets we've consumed in the endless pursuit of that unknown moment that we instantly recognize.     

Is there an end to this persistent, peculiar and seemingly instinctual quest for the rare visual delight that tickles deep in the belly and cuts like a knife. What creates the compulsion to put our experiences and visions into tiny compartments and then share with another. When will we have seen enough or pictured it all?                                    

As we continue to satisfy our insatiable desire for photographs, seeing pieces of our world through many different eyes - we can ask ourselves if we've ever really seen it all. And so, with a renewed sense of wonder and curiosity; we begin to contemplate again -

 the nature of photography

Nature of photography click here to see the exhibition


Through The Lens Collective is delighted with the inclusion of our Advanced student, Remofiloe Mayisela and mentorship student Mikhail Samuel in the program and exhibition. Saad Eltinay our 2022 TTLC Mentee is also exhibiting work. 

A project by KLUB DER KÜNSTE of the Deichtorhallen Hamburg for the 8th Triennial of Photography 2022

Opening May 19th, 2022, 7 pm
Exhibition in the Gallerycorridor at Hall of contemporary Art:
May 20 – July 31, 2022

Information is the currency of the moment, and information is spread most rapidly through social media. Information is not only text, but mainly also images. We connected young photographers from Hamburg, Khartoum, Abidjan, Casablanca and Johannesburg. Two of them each, brought together at the kickoff meeting, exchanged information about everyday or social, political or personal circumstances via WhatsApp and Instagram etc. Visually and textually, this exchanged »currency« is the theme of the project. What is the value of this information about life circumstances and contexts away from the public, official news and information flow? Using the example of the current difficult situation in Khartoum and the interrupted flow of information due to disrupted Internet and mobile phone service, direct information via social networks, which partially gets through, is of great »value« here.

The results were personal dialogues between the respective partners, who came to appreciate the exchange and value of this »information currency« more and more, thus providing a direct and almost intimate insight into their living conditions.

In weekly Zoom meetings with all participants and the local partners, the resulting communications (pictorial and textual) were presented, discussed and further developed. Information was exchanged over almost four months from January to mid-April 2022. From the resulting material André Lützen developed and conceptualized the exhibition together with the participants. The works will be shown on 5 monitors and in print form at the 8th Triennial of Photography in the Gallery in the Corridor of Cultural Education (Hall of Contemporary Art).

curated by:
André Lützen
photographies and texts by:

Yasmine Hatimi & Saad Eltinay (Marocco & Sudan)
Gabriela Guimarães & Mikhail Samuel (Germany/Brazil & South Africa)
Remofiloe Mayisela & Ahmed Khalid (South Africa & Sudan)
Caio Jacques & Henri Toh (Germany/Brazil & Ivory Coast)
Aurelie Tiffy & Eythar M. Gubara (Ivory Coast & Sudan/Germany)

 Local Project Organization:

Khartoum, Sudan
Ala Kheir (Freelancer)
Lilli Kobler (Goethe-Institute)

Johannesburg, South Africa
Michelle Loukidis 

Marrakesh, Morocco
Janine Gaëlle Dieudji (Freelancer)

Abidjan, Ivory Coast
Macline Hien (Freelancer)



(IM)MATERIALITY (Lisbon, Portugal)

We were delighted to have three of our artists, Remofiloe Mayisela, Sidonie Hadoux and Nadia Rates selected for this show by curator, Diogo Bento


When looking at artistic practices through the scope of the pairing concepts of materiality and immateriality, a central and reconciling notion emerges, that of plastics or plastikos in ancient Greek. If the word refers primarily to the physics of materials or to their inherentproperties, it also refers to the transformative action applied to any concrete material such as the technique of modelling wax or clay, of carving stone, wood or bones, or painting a white canvas…

But beyond the reality of the physical matter, of its presence and it’s becoming, plastics or plastikos additionally refers to the creative and performative imagination which operates in the formation of ideas, mental images or feelings. Plastikos is what gives ideas and forms a visual, a material existence, an aesthetics, but it is equally what gives potential forms and ideas an existence at all. Thus, plastics evokes the questions of the malleability and adaptability and therefore concerns both the realm of the physical with its tangibility and sensuality and that of the spiritual and the emotional, which include various interconnected immaterial dimensions such as culture, identity and memory. The evolution towards less substance and more disembodiment via new technologies reveals on theone hand an active emphasis on a purely ethereal visuality and, on the other hand, a strategic focus on the flexibility of the mind and the brain with the sciences of psychological, behavioural and neurological plasticity.

In 1945, Barnett Newman distinguished plastic and plasmic images. According to Newman, while the first reflects the primacy of form, colours and spatial arrangements, the latter favours thought and dreams. Therefore, by digging into the unconscious and by exploring the mysteries of the world, plasmic images directly act on the human psyche. In that perspective, immateriality in arts would not only concern the nature or the absence of a media (performance, installation, conceptual and digital arts, music, film, literature or poetry), but any artistic process that springs from and transforms the invisible essences of life.

We have long been aware that images constantly affect and alter the human body through desire and a wide range of emotions. The emerging field of quantum physics scientifically shows that what we call nature, the physical environment, the body, all palpable mattersand objects are interweaved dimensions of a whole system of varying spectra of energetic vibrations. What is an idea or an emotion other than a vibrational frequency that manifests itself materially via the human body and its diversified external expressions? Aspirations, drives and desires continually create and shape our material reality. Thus, the conceptual division between materiality and immateriality seems somehow an abstraction or a shared illusion.

The current gathering of the selected artistic inputs from a wide variety of cultural backgrounds including Portugal, Angola, Mozambique, South Africa, RDC, Zimbabwe, São Tomé, Burkina Faso, Namibia, Holland, Germany and Brazil, aims at expanding our awareness and deepening our perception of the living, vibrant and rhythmic substantial world.

Katherine Sirois


of blood sweat and data/

On People, Place and Photography

Studio Nxumalo in collaboration with Through The Lens Collective presents an exhibition of contemporary documentary photography by established and new voices, who engage the city, its people, and diverse social structure through the mode of Portraiture. 

As a cosmopolitan city built largely on labour migration, a wealth of unknown stories and realities continue to unfold within this diverse and complex city, inspiring new generations of photographers, driven by a deep sense of curiosity about their own surroundings - to portray the people who co-inhabit this unique space.  

This exhibition approaches portraiture as a complex act of representation, social interest and artistic vision - qualities which embody the unique and diverse character of Johannesburg and its people. Here, we broadly consider the social significance of documentary portrait photography – and its power to shift perceptions through the simple, and yet layered act of seeing and portraying each other. 

The enduring socio-political impact of ‘witnessing’ is evidenced by the immense historical value of documentary photography in South Africa. The views of the photographers presented here serve as vital contributions to an ongoing visual engagement with the city, placing these intimate considerations of each other within a larger web of social activism.

Sibusiso Gcaba

Matt Kay

Nonzuzo Gxekwa

Kgomotso Neto

Tshepiso Mazibuko


Lindokuhle Sobekwa

Tshepo Moloi

Simphiwe Majozi

Lebogang Tlhako

Jack Markovitz


Collaboration with City of Ekurhuleni and Springs Art Gallery.

Special thanks to Thabo Sekoaila

Simphiwe Majozi uses the photographic medium to bring vision to his unseen experience of home. His work considers the immense spiritual value of those precious items left behind by those who have passed on, while acknowledging the significance of those who remain and become both remnants of and successors to; the lives and dreams of their ancestors. 

Many photographers, past and present, have documented South African cultural and spiritual traditions and practices, in attempt to evoke the spirited connection between earthly and metaphysical bodies. Majozi’s work brings a personal and contemporary vision to cultural tradition, reflecting on the experiences of those who are left behind - as inheritors of familial bonds and ancestral legacies. His body of work explores the role that both photography, and these inherited belongings play in our attempts to cherish and hold on to memory.