Memories of Dreams, TMRW Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa
Nightscapes: Cape Town, Red Bull Studios, Cape Town, South Africa
Nightscapes: Johannesburg, Kalashnikovv Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa
Paris Photo, focus Johannesburg, Galerie Magnin-a, Grand Palais, Paris, France
SWAY, NOW Gallery, Centurion, South Africa
If You Leave Showcase, Embassy East, London, UK
Wish You Were Here, an architectural group exhibition focusing on Johannesburg, Wish, Johannesburg, South Africa
Lives and works in Johannesburg.
Elsa Bleda brings a fresh approach to photography through her pronounced distant angles of the buildings against the backdrop of the night. The photographs are both elusive and familiar and the mood of dystopia is apparent through the neon lights, giving a dream-like state to the realities of the streets. The complexities of the human experience through visibly desolate areas creates a new cinematic aesthetic where the only life form visible is through the lights turned on to attract approaching passersby…if there are any!
Elsa is also busy portraying Johannesburg’s Chinese community which dates back to the 1660’s. Her photographs are telling a part of the history through the undeveloped architecture rendered modern through the use of neon lights set aglow that suggest ‘don’t let the cover fool you, what you’re looking for is inside’. The fluorescent lights create a buzz of wonderment and brings life back to a part of history while the city sleeps.