The Cooling Towers
The Cooling Towers have been on the periphery of Cape Town’s world since most Capetonians can remember. Keeping a watchful eye over the Cape Flats in their hardened concreteness, with their strangely voluptuous forms visible from almost anywhere in the peninsula, their hyperboloid structures punctured the skyline. On the 22 August 2010, they were demolished.
Thousands of Capetonians turned out to watch their demise. People cheered. People cried. On the day a crowd of 8000 people turned up at Pinelands Sports Complex to witness the detonation, some with gas braais and champagne breakfasts, while the mayor and other dignitaries – city officials, rugby players, beauty queens -watched. There was live broadcasting from ETV, Zoopy TV and other channels amidst a press frenzy.
The Cooling Towers had a strange significance in the landscape of Cape Town. They have symbolized different things for different people in Cape Town, during their fifty year history. Considering their fairly arbitrary nature as industrial structures, they seemed to occupy a curious space in the imagination. These photographs document their last moments in the landscape of Cape Town.
Cape Town is some way from Hollywood, Bollywood and Nollywood, but nonetheless attracts filmmakers both for its’ sublime landscape and its consistent climate. It is also often cheaper for international filmmakers to shoot in Cape Town.
In the summer months one inevitably stumbles upon film and advertising shoots happening all around the city. It is these shoots that Svea Josephy documents, with an aim to reveal the constructedness of film and the film set, beyond the artifice and “suspension of disbelief” of the final product. Whilst the film purports to reveal a “window to the world”, Josephy is more interested in what is going on outside and around the frame.