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Empty Spaces

These photographs were shot in two distinct moments, in 2014 and 2018. They document a small part of the history of five neighbouring empty homes in Upper Houghton, Johannesburg. All five properties are large enough to have been significant family homes with two being of heritage importance. From the ridge on which they stand you can see the vast developing northern suburbs and to the south the neighbouring St Johns School, Berea, Hillbrow and Johannesburg CBD. The reasons for their being empty are not documented but folklore talks of grand homes, eccentric residents, communes and home invasions from the Wilds park which abuts the properties.

Architectural structures can reflect more than the spaces they were originally intended for and in their way these five empty spaces can be read as a microcosm or reflections of aspects of political, historical and societal development and structures.

All images and content of this site are copyright Gordon A Massie