Exhibition Review: This Must be the Place by Pieter Hugo

Until 20 May 2012, the FotoMuseum Den Haag presents the exhibition “This must be the place” from the South-African of Cape Town, Pieter Hugo, one of the most talented photographers of our time. The display is composed by a retrospective of the artist's work made from 2003-2011 and brings much attention to the spectators with the central theme explored by Hugo as apartheid and post-colonialism in Africa. TheHagueOnLine's Isadora Escorza tells us what we might expect from the exhibition.

Pieter Hugo once said the first picture he took was from a homeless person. No wonder this strong call for social criticism became the mainly charachter on his work and it is easily perceived. While observing Hugo's photographs it is as if he proposed to the viewer a way to see reality through the essence of those African social groups, their risks and misfortunes.

He also shifts the geographical point, centered in Europe and the United States, to produce in his own land and surrounding area. The series “Nollywood”, 2008-2009, treat spectators to an inside glimpse of the film industry in Nigeria, the third largest in the world after Hollywood in the USA and Bollywood in India. It portrays the African popular imagination and stories that have been part of an oral tradition in an archaic way, considering the films are produced with low budgets and come with all kinds of improvisation during the filming process.


As this and other series, the fascination with the image that works the urban hybridity is provoked in the spectator. The constant in the photographer's work is how the images are portrayed. They always seem to be facing the same way we look at them. On his latest work, "Permanent Error", 2010, shows a place where people live in Ghana with technological waste. It's a huge open dump where technological discards as monitors, motherboards, keyboards and chips are incinerated. Another very interesting work is "The Hyena & Other Men", which shows the relationship of man with African wildlife, primarily hyenas. These animals are domesticated and used in some tribes for protection and entertainment.


Pieter Hugo's portraits reveals unexpected and complex elements and they are indeed images to an understanding beyond the visible.



When: until 20 May 2012



Fotomuseum Den Haag
Stadhouderslaan 43
2517 HV Den Haag

Ph: 070 - 33 811 44


Under-18: free
Museumkaart: free
Adults: € 6,00
CJP, students, 65+ pass: € 4,00

Combination ticket Gemeentemuseum and GEM/ Fotomuseum: € 15,50
Groups of adults (min. 15): € 5,00


The Gemeentemuseum The Hague has it's own ticket office and is open on Tuesday - Sunday, 11:00 – 17:00


For more information, visit the Gemeentemuseum website.


Isadora Escorza

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