World Cup 2010: Dan Halter shows less affluent side of game in Shifting the Goalposts

By Culture24 Staff | 16 June 2010
A photo of a thin frame of goalposts on a sandy pitch in Africa

World Cup 2010: Shifting the Goalposts, SON Gallery, London, until July 4 2010

In the deprived Musina area of South Africa, tensions run high. Positioned on the border with Beitbridge, in Zimbabwe, the region is notorious for illegal immigration, and the new arrivals to each country are used to receiving a hostile reception.

The many dusty pitches in the region, where most South Africans imitate their idols are, ideologically at least, a long way from the glimmering stadiums the world is currently fixated on.

A photo of goalposts on a sandy pitch

Halter switched the goals between Zimbabwe and South Africa

Dan Halter, a graduate of Cape Town’s Michaelis School of Fine Art, has swapped goals from football fields in Musina and Beitbridge and transplanted them in South Africa to create 12 images in a “subtle politicisation” of the situation.

"Issues of migration and displacement are key themes for me," says Halter, a white Zimbabwean who has forged a new life in South Africa.

"I don't have a particular moral stance, or any over-riding beliefs. I am interested in people, in humanity as a whole. I am an observer of the world and the things I make offer a social commentary in a somewhat ambiguous way."

Shifting the Goalposts also refers to the Zimbabwean government’s perceived corruption and manoeuvring.

"Coming from Zimbabwe, I am no stranger to the corrupting effects of power, and the irony that so few people or just one person can have a hold over or affect so many."

A photo of goalposts on a sandy pitch

The photographer uses the photos to discuss issues of migration and displacement

The piece is accompanied by Space Invader, an imitation of the classic arcade game but featuring mesh bags used by refugees. It was installed and photographed at a Johannesburg taxi rank, which serves as a port of entry for many African immigrants.

SON Gallery, Unit 9C, Copeland Industrial Park, Copeland Road, Peckham. Open 12pm-6pm Thursday-Sunday. Admission free. Visit the Gallery online.

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