This series of photographs, Life under Democracy, was inspired by the Ernest Cole exhibition at the National Gallery in Cape Town, in February 2011. Cole's images feature life under apartheid. Yudelman's series looks at life under democracy and where we are after eighteen years of liberation.
Many of the images were shot in passing and are personal daily reflections - while others involve more deliberate excursions. In Life under Democracy, Yudelman returns to the areas he photographed in the eighties, for the series, Suburbs in Paradise, which cross-examines white suburbia under the influence of legislated segregation.
To gain perspective, he also visits some of the people and areas Cole photographed. A sense of how much has changed begins to develop; and in some cases how much has stayed the same. As if in conversation, Yudelman uses his iPhone camera as a means of discourse. The senses are unified through a device, historically utilised for discussion, in turn, mirroring the merging of a nation whose past is omnipresent.
Yudelman's work is a consequence of a studied eye, brokered over 30 years of ceaseless image making. Enthralled with the many-layered dimensions of reality, his images are a spectacle of how modern photography is able to escape the bounds of the 'record', creating an authentic and evocative account of recent times. - Simone Tredoux.
Dale Yudelman's career in photography has led him through two eras of South African history as well as across several continents. Born in Johannesburg, he began photographing at a young age under the tutelage of his father and was barely out of his teens in 1979 when he landed a job as staff photographer at South Africa's largest daily newspaper The Star. In 1986 Yudelman left South Africa - working as a freelance photographer first in London and later in Los Angeles, he returned to South Africa in 1996 and currently lives and works in Cape Town.
The Ernest Cole Photographic Award has been established to stimulate creative work in photography in southern Africa. The award, initiated by the UCT Libraries with support from the Kirsh, Peter Brown, Gavin Relly Trusts and Orms, has been named after the documentary photographer, Ernest Cole. The emphasis of the award is on creative responses to South African society. The winner of the inaugural award is Dale Yudelman and his book, Life under Democracy, is the first in a series of annual publications to be published under the auspices of this award.