Consciousness, Literature and the Arts
Dr. Christopher Webster van Tonder studied photography, art and art history as an undergraduate and postgraduate in South Africa and Wales. He has investigated and adapted the iconography of the analogue photographic image in the context of solo and group exhibitions. Through international exhibitions, journal articles and conference papers, Webster van Tonder continues to develop, with his undergraduate, Masters and PhD students, alternative approaches to (broadly) lens-based practices (both chemically and conceptually) and aspects of the history of photography. In recent years he has exhibited alongside artists such as Chuck Close, Sally Mann and Dan Estabrook. His most recent practice is centred on the production of short 16mm films that include stop motion animation and manipulation of the film surface. Currently engaged with research into esoteric currents in photography under the auspices of National Socialism, he is working on an illustrated book on the work of German photographer Erich Retzlaff (1899-1993) and researching the use, significance and effect of specifically (Agfa)colour photography in accentuating these esoteric currents during the period 1936-1945.