Dropout Neville Lister accompanies acclaimed photographer Saul Auerbach for a day, to learn a lesson for life. They play a game: from a hill above Johannesburg they pick three houses and decide to knock on their doors in search of a story. Auerbach’s images of the first two will become classic portraits, but soon the light fades. Lister only reaches the third house decades later, returning to post-apartheid South Africa and a Johannesburg altered almost beyond recognition. How to live when estranged from your birthplace? What do you lose when you are no longer lost?
Double Negative is a subtle triptych that captures the ordinary life of Neville Lister during South Africa’s extraordinary revolution. Ivan Vladislavić lays moments side by side like photographs on a table. He lucidly portrays a city and its many lives through reflections on memory, art and what we should really be looking for. Read an Excerpt