Weighted Documentary

Pieter Hugo: Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea showcases 14 of Hugo’s collections, and includes subjects that range from wild honey collectors to definitions of home and Nigeria’s film industry, Nollywood. It offers a detailed and moving investigation into different people’s lives and presents an alternative depiction of modern Africa, calling into question the power of assumption. The volume also extends beyond his home continent to explore similar concepts in America and Asia.

Stunning and completely captivating, the images are intense and commanding. The editors’ introductory text presents a thorough background, contextualising each photograph and giving an insight into Pieter Hugo’s influences and his overall output to date. Each colour plate is packed with a weighted sense of humanity; this collection feels like a vital piece of documentary footage in a world that is too often observed from a marginalised Western European viewpoint.

Pieter Hugo: Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, Ed. Ralf Beil & Uta Ruhkamp. Available through Prestel. For more information: www.prestelpublishing.randomhouse.de

Bryony Byrne

1. Pieter Hugo, Green Point Common II, Cape Town. (2013). Courtesy of Prestel.