Entertainment Art Encounters at the Edge - An Exhibition by David Lurie

Encounters at the Edge - An Exhibition by David Lurie

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According to the United Nations, the majority of the world’s population today live in cities. Out of a world population of 7 billion, 1 billion people live in slums and more than 1 billion are informal workers, struggling to survive.

These figures are staggering, considering that 95% of the future growth of humanity will occur in cities, overwhelmingly in poor cities, and most of it in slums, creating a crisis for this global urban, informal working class, or mass unemployed people – especially, but not only, in the developing world – who have no formal connection to the world economy, and no chance of ever having such a connection.

Cape Town mirrors many of the problems facing other African cities and cities in the developing world. How does this surplus humanity improvise survival in the city? The photographs included in this exhibition are an attempt to distill Lurie's experience of these fragments of life – of unfinished stories – on the precipice beyond the edge of Cape Town. It is a study in informal survival, in a world of unstable, sprawling squatter camps, informal settlements, garbage hills, and the sand dunes of the Cape Flats, (and more recently, in Hout Bay where Lurie currently lives) where urbanisation has been disconnected from industrialisation and even from economic growth.

Lurie's photographs focus on the excluded, warehoused in shantytowns and exiled from the formal world economy, a habitat largely constructed out of crude brick, recycled plastic, metal sheets, cardboard, cement blocks, and scrap wood, surrounded by pollution, excrement, and decay.

Encounters at the Edge opens at the Erdman Gallery in Shortmarket St on the 11th of July and closes on 25 August 2012.