Heidi Erdmann director of Erdmann Contemporary

It has been said that Erdmann Contemporary is difficult to pigeon hole. Perhaps because I have firm ideas of what I want, how I manage my gallery, and that I am involved in every step of the business.

erdmann This owner-run gallery, launched in 2001 in Cape Town, is committed to the development of successful and sustainable careers. To this end it has attracted the attention of both local and international collectors, museum directors and curators. The gallery’s exhibition schedule over the past fourteen years is testimony to its commitment of hosting relevant and content-rich exhibitions by both local and selected international artists.[Official Website]

Portrait of Heidi Erdmann

Can you please introduce yourself for those who don’t know?

I am a gallerist and a curator based in Cape Town, South Africa. I curated my first exhibition in 1993. Worked at an art museum for three years, and in 1997 accepted a position as curator at a commercial photography gallery. I opened my own gallery in 2001. My early career was dedicated and focused on contemporary photography. Nowadays I have taken on curatorial and publishing projects outside of that medium.

Could you tell me a little bit about the Erdmann Contemporary?

It has been said that Erdmann Contemporary is difficult to pigeon hole. Perhaps because I have firm ideas of what I want, how I manage my gallery, and that I am involved in every step of the business. I do not follow trends nor jump on bandwagons. Our exhibition roster has always favored cutting edge exhibitions, exploring topical issues in innovative ways working with historically significant artists, or those at the forefront of contemporary practice. I work very closely with an artist during the built up stage of an exhibition, at least nine to twelve months before a solo exhibition and not less than six months on a group exhibition. We are a small team, but together we manage a very busy schedule working locally and internationally, on solo, group or traveling museum exhibitions, art fairs, talks and publishing. In addition we host live music events in our gallery each Friday evening. It is perhaps this aspect of combining creative events in our gallery space that sets us apart from other galleries. The changes of meeting an artist at our gallery are good, but so are meeting an opera singer, a well known musician or a fellow curator.

ErdmannContemporary Interior 1

In general, what is your goal in curating art exhibitions?

Primarily to draw an audience for engagement. The exhibition, Roger Ballen/Die Antwoord hosted in 2012, broke all records in terms of visitor’s numbers. The show remained topical in the media for five consecutive weeks. I extended the run twice to accommodate visitor’s numbers. It was content that elicited the strongest response, and in order to engage and have an opinion, people felt it necessary to visit the gallery and view the show. It was exhausting but that is the reason why we host shows.

What is the secret of making a gallery successful?

Its exhibition roster and the quality of curation; the three C’ – Context, Content & Curation.

How did you select the participating artists?

I search for talent by going to art fairs, graduation exhibitions, visiting museums. I am not a sprinter; I am a long distance runner. If I spot an emerging talent, I will wait at least three years to assess development. If the artist is still around, I will sign them up. I have long relationships with many of my artists, at least more than a decade. I very seldom, but have in the past, signed up an artist on the strength of a single photograph. But I would argue that those instances are often as a result of an alignment of personality, talent, drive and commitment.

What advice do you have for artists who have yet to find gallery representation– should they sit back, create, and wait for that day to come… or should they focus on self-marketing their art work?

My advice is research, and lots of it! Never approach a gallery unless there is a synergy with the proposed work and the galleries’ programme. Research developments on editions, processes and printing options. Be informed and stay informed. Yes, self-marketing is important. And it is so much easier now; a decade ago we did not have social media platforms. However, likes on a Facebook page does not make an image a masterpiece.

ErdmannContemporary Interior 2

What advice would you like to offer other artists that might help them learn to better promote their work?

Make sure the artist statement is well constructed, offers insight into context, and relates to the body of work. An artist statement is as important as the actual work.

How would you sum up contemporary photography?

The most exciting medium of the past three decades, and the possibilities are just increasing. Contemporary photography has become more about constructing the image, the making of images, more so than the act of documenting. The photographic print that we see is the final product of an involved process; and it is that process that makes contemporary photography so extremely exciting.

Are there any future projects you are excited about and would like to share with us?
I am looking forward to a Nomusa Makhubu’s participation in the upcoming AFiRIperFOMA Biennale in Lagos, Nigeria later this year. She will present an adaptation of her acclaimed Self-Portrait Project series.

In closing, is there anything you would like to say about your gallery or your roster of artists?

I am excited about celebrated street photographer, Lindeka Qampi’s new series entitled, Living in this World. Qampi, whose photographs are in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco, is shifting her focus from daily township life to working with individuals exploring the issue of absent father figures. Later this year, Qampi along with fellow photographer Zanele Muholi will present a series of lectures, workshops and an exhibition in Sardinia, Italy.

ErdmannContemporary Interior 3

ErdmannContemporary Interior 4

More Stories

Underwater by Mike Potts

Underwater by Mike Potts

I see the water as a metaphor for a dream medium and I try to meet my subjects on that boundary and hope that we are able to take the viewer from tranquil peace to a burst of creation and back again. Underwater project was selected and published in our print edition 22.
A Space Odyssey-style evolution by Sonia Payes

A Space Odyssey-style evolution by Sonia Payes

A Space Odyssey-style evolution, is Alchemy (2021), a collection of 14 vibrant chromogenic prints. Each one reiterates the same basic composition and design, with Ilana’s avatar recurring indomitably across two orderly rows. 
Turin; You Do Not See by Riccardo Surace

Turin; You Do Not See by Riccardo Surace

The project titled What You Do Not See, Unordinary tells the story of the City of Turin, my city, seen through the eyes of passersby. All photographs have been captured with a long exposure technique; in other words, I mixed then history of the city with my own history, my life experience. In fact, after five years spent fighting a disease, my artistic purpose is primarily that of representing the all too familiar feeling when, as a young man wandering through the city, one feels invisible, and yet still he is thoroughly involved in its daily frenzy.

Nude Photography Awards

We invite you to participate in the first edition
of the Nude Photography Awards. We are looking
for the best nude picture for this year, 2022.

Our call is open to any artistic interpretation of nude photography.

DEADLINE | SATURDAY, DECEMBER 31, 2022

PHOTO BY © OLIVIER VALSECCHI
Fragments by Anne-Marie Giroux.

Fragments by Anne-Marie Giroux.

Fragments is a project within a project. Since 2020, I have been working on an installation project entitled Drifts Drifting Phase II which will be presented at Espace Produit Rien in Montréal in April 2023. The installation proposes a questioning of human and artistic drift, theme that I have been exploring since 2014. Adopting a critical and mocking approach on the relevance of the very essence of the art object, I also question the relevance of being an artist, and particularly, the relevance of being a woman artist.
Exclusive interview with Henriëtte HJIMvanGasteren

Exclusive interview with Henriëtte HJIMvanGasteren

I have had the privilege to interview Henriëtte HJIMvanGasteren, formerly known as Lilith, for Dodho Magazine. In this honest and sincere conversation, she shows us why she is so interesting as a creator, and also as an artist persona.
Til All Is Correct by Louise Fago-Ruskin

Til All Is Correct by Louise Fago-Ruskin

I like to think of my Great Uncle Moszek hovering  somewhere between floors 8 and 12 of Nalewki Street  9 in the Warsaw ghetto. It is a safe place, this imagined placement of his body. Down below the streets of the ghetto are not safe. A German soldier has been killed and revenge is about to be sought. Boots are  heard on the ground, moving ever closer to number 9.

Featured Stories

Jovana Rikalo ; Fine Art Series

Jovana Rikalo ; Fine Art Series

Jovana Rikalo is a fine art and portrait photographer based in Serbia. She loves to capture emotions and feelings, outdoors, in breathtaking scenery. 
Body art – a tribal ritual by Trevor Cole

Body art – a tribal ritual by Trevor Cole

The Suri tribe in the Northern Omo valley of Ethiopia, for example, use the paints for camouflage, tribal rituals or ceremonies and also now to show travellers. The tribes in the highlands of Papua New Guinea and along the Sepik river adorn themselves with paint for ‘Sing Sings’,
Faubourg Treme by Alexis Pazoumian

Faubourg Treme by Alexis Pazoumian

There are many similarities between Louisiana and my country of origine, Armenia.That they are a victim of a natural disaster or a crime against humanity, a doggedness of the history
Terri Gold ; Poetic infrared imagery

Terri Gold ; Poetic infrared imagery

Terri Gold is an award-winning photographer known for her poetic infrared imagery of people from the remote corners of the world. She is a storyteller who is happiest when she is in a world that is unknown to her.
Inside Myanmar Monasteries by Irene Barlian

Inside Myanmar Monasteries by Irene Barlian

Traditions still hold out in the Myanmar’s countryside which has so far been relatively untouched. Myanmar was often seen as among the world’s most isolated nations. Although they had eased it’s 15 years restrictions on tourism, the country remains to be ancient and pure.
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/nude-banner.jpg

We invite you to participate in the first edition of the Nude Photography Awards. Our call is open to any artistic interpretation of nude photography.

https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/BAnImage.jpg

ImageRights provides intelligent image search and copyright enforcement services to photo agencies and professional photographers worldwide.

https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/mono2022.jpg

The best 100 images along with the winning images published in the yearly book “Monochromatic – Best Photographers of 2022”

https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/banner23.jpg

Call For Entries #23 | After 22 editions and more than 100 published photographers, our print edition has proven to be a simply effective promotional channel.

Little stars by Tatiana Ilina

Little stars by Tatiana Ilina

The story about lilliputians artists "The shining of little stars" who travel around Russia. The first performance was in Ivanovo. The posters were placed all over the town and many inhabitants were surprised and sincerely confessed that they have never seen anything like this. 
Urban sprawl series by Emmanuel Monzon

Urban sprawl series by Emmanuel Monzon

Through my urban sprawl series, I want to photograph the in-between state found in the American landscape. So I capture places of transition, borders, passages from one world to another
Off-Season Santas by Mary Beth Koeth

Off-Season Santas by Mary Beth Koeth

An ongoing portrait series of off-season Santas. Santa Roy is a retired police officer who, in 1984, was named one of the Top Ten Law Enforcement Officers in the State of Florida.
Ethiopia; The art of disappearing by Harry Fisch

Ethiopia; The art of disappearing by Harry Fisch

The trucks continually roll past the roads that lead to their villages, spitting out so much dust that people living in the villages can no longer breathe. 
Pilot by Mano Svanidze

Pilot by Mano Svanidze

We live in a boom of scripted TV series where watching TV shows take the face of addiction. It has brought many changes in people's behavior and their response to others.
Postarchitecture by Victor Enrich

Postarchitecture by Victor Enrich

The work of Victor Enrich is intimately connected to architecture. Since our origins, mankind has expressed itself in different ways, using all sorts of techniques and technologies, in order to communicate and evolve.

Trending Stories

Mysterious people by Amy Sacka

Mysterious people by Amy Sacka

“Mysterious people” explores the tension in our curious reality. The moments when we find ourselves looking and looking again, maybe even asking, “Did that just happen?” “What did I just see?” Or maybe even, “Did the camera see something that I didn't?"
Fight clubs; Kushti Wrestling by Erberto Zani

Fight clubs; Kushti Wrestling by Erberto Zani

Kolkata, India: Kusthi is an ancient form of wrestling, three thousand years old. Fight clubs are rough, poor, "old school" style without new technologies, just training and sweat. And red arena, of course, because the wrestlers fight on sacred red soil.
Architecture photography by James Teo

Architecture photography by James Teo

I was immersing myself in black and white fine art photography: landscape, waterscape and architecture. My most current works revolve around the areas of architecture.
Lively portraits Betina La Plante

Lively portraits Betina La Plante

Born in Argentina, Betina left at the age of 8, when she went to boarding school in Europe. She Harrow Art school in London and studied Dramatic Art in Rome, before moving back to London to work in television and film production for several years.
Simple Presence by Momir Čavić

Simple Presence by Momir Čavić

In this series I present the nude body as a detail, moved into the background. The architectural lines are simple, the posture is straight, natural and static. The face is relaxed and without emotional expressions. A nude that is reduced to simple presence.
Malleus Maleficarum by Mitar Terzic

Malleus Maleficarum by Mitar Terzic

The book Malleus Malleficarum was written by two Dominicans theologs, Heinrich Kramer and Jacobus Sprenger in 1468 and officials approved by Papa Inocencio VIII.
Nathan Wirth ; Twilight by the Sea(sons)

Nathan Wirth ; Twilight by the Sea(sons)

I first decided to pursue photography for many reasons: a love of black and white photography, a desire to reflect the silences of nature through imagery, and a wish to express a kind of visual poetry. 
Portraits of the New Parisians by Victor Guerin

Portraits of the New Parisians by Victor Guerin

For as long as I can remember, I was always the one taking photos of my family and friends at parties and family reunions, using a disposable camera or an old, cheap 35mm. I just wanted to cover the walls of my bedroom, with photos of happy moments and memories.
Light and shadow; Write a poem of silence by Carmelita Iezzi

Light and shadow; Write a poem of silence by Carmelita Iezzi

"Write a poem of silence" is a metaphor expressed in photography with light and shadow. Silence is sometimes more deafening than words, a silence made into a poem of light, dedicated to the feminine, to the laceration of the soul, to that deafening void left by words that have never been spoken.

Other Stories

stay in touch
Join our mailing list and we'll keep you up to date with all the latest stories, opportunities, calls and more.
We use Sendinblue as our marketing platform. By Clicking below to submit this form, you acknowledge that the information you provided will be transferred to Sendinblue for processing in accordance with their terms of use
We’d love to
Thank you for subscribing!
Submission
Dodho Magazine accepts submissions from emerging and professional photographers from around the world.
Their projects can be published among the best photographers and be viewed by the best professionals in the industry and thousands of photography enthusiasts. Dodho magazine reserves the right to accept or reject any submitted project. Due to the large number of presentations received daily and the need to treat them with the greatest respect and the time necessary for a correct interpretation our average response time is around 5/10 business days in the case of being accepted.
- Between 10/30 images of your best images, in case your project contains a greater number of images which are part of the same indivisible body of work will also be accepted. You must send the images in jpg format to 1200px and 72dpi and quality 9. (No borders or watermarks)
- A short biography along with your photograph. (It must be written in the third person)
- Title and full text of the project with a minimum length of 300 words. (Texts with lesser number of words will not be accepted)
This is the information you need to start preparing your project for its presentation
To send it, you must compress the folder in .ZIP format and use our Wetransfer channel specially dedicated to the reception of works. Links or projects in PDF format will not be accepted. All presentations are carefully reviewed based on their content and final quality of the project or portfolio. If your work is selected for publication in the online version, it will be communicated to you via email and subsequently it will be published.
Contact
How can we help? Got an idea or something you'd like share? Please use the adjacent form, or contact contact@dodho.com
Thank You. We will contact you as soon as possible.
Submission
Dodho Magazine accepts submissions from emerging and professional photographers from around the world.
Their projects can be published among the best photographers and be viewed by the best professionals in the industry and thousands of photography enthusiasts. Dodho magazine reserves the right to accept or reject any submitted project. Due to the large number of presentations received daily and the need to treat them with the greatest respect and the time necessary for a correct interpretation our average response time is around 5/10 business days in the case of being accepted. This is the information you need to start preparing your project for its presentation.
To send it, you must compress the folder in .ZIP format and use our Wetransfer channel specially dedicated to the reception of works. Links or projects in PDF format will not be accepted. All presentations are carefully reviewed based on their content and final quality of the project or portfolio. If your work is selected for publication in the online version, it will be communicated to you via email and subsequently it will be published.
Get in Touch
How can we help? Got an idea or something you'd like share? Please use the adjacent form, or contact hello@dodho.com
Thank You. We will contact you as soon as possible.