Ian van Coller: Interior Relations

SIDE GALLERY: 11.5.08 – 12.6.08

photography by Ian van Coller

Portraits of Female Domestic Workers in South Africa, by Ian van Coller

Interior Relations explores the deep fault lines between the country’s public democratic ideals and the ongoing racial and economic inequality that circumscribes the lived experiences of many black South African women. Many of the contradictions evident in South Africa’s transition to democracy are encapsulated within white households that employ black and coloured domestic workers, often housing them in segregated living quarters on their property. These households, simultaneously private spaces for employers and public spaces for the employees, are ultimately political spaces where race, class and gender inequalities are negotiated. Interior Relations is a portrait series focused specifically on female domestic workers—nannies and maids—who continue to embody this daily repertoire of inequalities.