THE CREST HOTEL
(Portrait series) taken from the Multi-Media Film by the same name. Chosen by NAN GOLDIN for the CPH:DOX Copenhagen Documentary Film Festival 2011)

Statement.

I remember the Crest Hotel way back in the 70’s. In fact it was from this hotel that I gathered my first impressions of our newly adopted land, South Africa. Emigrating here with my parents from England in January 1975, I was 12 years old when we arrived at the door of the Crest after a short cab ride from the austere Jan Smuts airport. Upon arrival at this comfortable 3 star hotel, a stone’s throw from the bustling boulevards of Hillbrow, I was awestruck by the views from our 12th floor window. Glittering skyscrapers and a zillion apartments surrounded us on all sides; our hotel it seemed was at the epicenter of all this glitz, with its lively terrace and sparkling pool.

For the two weeks that we lived in Hillbrow at the Crest while my father sought rented accommodation in the leafier northern suburbs, I gathered impressions of this ‘Americanized’ metropolis, admiring its scale & lofty buildings, sensing its economic presence and buzz, all the while searching out the exotica of black faces to remind myself that I was in Africa after all. Certainly during those first few weeks while strolling past the café & bakeries and soda pop joints of Pretoria & Kotze streets on balmy summer evenings, I could see clearly that this was the abode and playground for a predominantly white cast. I saw lots of happy white faces! An illusion of blissful living. An illusion of harmony and human equality. Yes this was a place of happy shiny white people, and I, the little white kid who’d just stepped off a plane in Africa from England, was entranced.

32 years later, I return to the Crest. Still entranced but for different reasons. The place has changed, the city has changed, and the country has changed. I’ve changed.

The Crest hotel therefore is my personal attempt to join dots, and answer pertinent questions to my own sense of failed idealism and dislocation. Projected through the presence of others, the Crest after all is where my journey to South Africa began.

For many presented here today though, this is where their journey will end, or has ended already. It’s where their relationship with South Africa is coming to an end too, but certainly did not begin. As an artist/photographer I intend to explore further themes or locations that I hope will allow me to investigate my relationship with this country and my country of birth, England. And how the two sit incongruously side by side within my own psyche.

The Crest is where I chose to begin this investigation.

RICHARD MARK DOBSON The Crest Hotel Lambda Chromogenic Print
The Crest Hotel I
2008
Lambda Chromogenic Print
Catalogue Number: TCH-001

NOT FOR SALE

RICHARD MARK DOBSON The Crest Hotel Lambda Chromogenic Print
The Crest Hotel II
2008
Lambda Chromogenic Print
Catalogue Number: TCH-002

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RICHARD MARK DOBSON The Crest Hotel Lambda Chromogenic Print
The Dead Pool # 1
2008
Lambda Chromogenic Print
Catalogue Number: TCH-003

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RICHARD MARK DOBSON The Crest Hotel Lambda Chromogenic Print
The Crest Hotel III
2008
Lambda Chromogenic Print
Catalogue Number: TCH-004

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RICHARD MARK DOBSON The Crest Hotel Lambda Chromogenic Print
The Crest Hotel IV
2008
Lambda Chromogenic Print
Catalogue Number: TCH-005

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RICHARD MARK DOBSON The Crest Hotel Lambda Chromogenic Print
Crystal
2008
Lambda Chromogenic Print
Catalogue Number: TCH-006

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RICHARD MARK DOBSON The Crest Hotel Lambda Chromogenic Print
East View
2008
Lambda Chromogenic Print
Catalogue Number: TCH-007

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RICHARD MARK DOBSON The Crest Hotel Lambda Chromogenic Print
West View
2008
Lambda Chromogenic Print
Catalogue Number: TCH-008

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RICHARD MARK DOBSON The Crest Hotel Lambda Chromogenic Print
South View
2008
Lambda Chromogenic Print
Catalogue Number: TCH-009

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RICHARD MARK DOBSON The Crest Hotel Lambda Chromogenic Print
Lydia Vulindlela
2008
Lambda Chromogenic Print
Catalogue Number: TCH-010

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RICHARD MARK DOBSON The Crest Hotel Lambda Chromogenic Print
Cassim Pattel
2008
Lambda Chromogenic Print
Catalogue Number: TCH-011

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RICHARD MARK DOBSON The Crest Hotel Lambda Chromogenic Print
Ellen Mukundu
2008
Lambda Chromogenic Print
Catalogue Number: TCH-012

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RICHARD MARK DOBSON The Crest Hotel Lambda Chromogenic Print
Mrs Stein
2008
Lambda Chromogenic Print
Catalogue Number: TCH-014

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RICHARD MARK DOBSON The Crest Hotel Lambda Chromogenic Print
The deceased Mr Numlist's Chair
2008
Lambda Chromogenic Print
Catalogue Number: TCH-015

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RICHARD MARK DOBSON The Crest Hotel Lambda Chromogenic Print
John August
2008
Lambda Chromogenic Print
Catalogue Number: TCH-016

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RICHARD MARK DOBSON The Crest Hotel Lambda Chromogenic Print
Crystal #1
2008
Lambda Chromogenic Print
Catalogue Number: TCH-017

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RICHARD MARK DOBSON The Crest Hotel Lambda Chromogenic Print
Crystal #2
2008
Lambda Chromogenic Print
Catalogue Number: TCH-018

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RICHARD MARK DOBSON The Crest Hotel Lambda Chromogenic Print
Crystal #3
2008
Lambda Chromogenic Print
Catalogue Number: TCH-019

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RICHARD MARK DOBSON The Crest Hotel Lambda Chromogenic Print
Frans Mille #1
2008
Lambda Chromogenic Print
Catalogue Number: TCH-020

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RICHARD MARK DOBSON The Crest Hotel Lambda Chromogenic Print
Frans Mille #2
2008
Lambda Chromogenic Print
Catalogue Number: TCH-021

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RICHARD MARK DOBSON The Crest Hotel Lambda Chromogenic Print
Frans Mille #3
2008
Lambda Chromogenic Print
Catalogue Number: TCH-022

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RICHARD MARK DOBSON The Crest Hotel Lambda Chromogenic Print
Jack Mc Grail
2008
Lambda Chromogenic Print
Catalogue Number: TCH-023

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RICHARD MARK DOBSON The Crest Hotel Lambda Chromogenic Print
Jose Rochelle Du Toit
2008
Lambda Chromogenic Print
Catalogue Number: TCH-024

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RICHARD MARK DOBSON The Crest Hotel Lambda Chromogenic Print
Carrol Wiggel & Maurice Friedland #1
2008
Lambda Chromogenic Print
Catalogue Number: TCH-025

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RICHARD MARK DOBSON The Crest Hotel Lambda Chromogenic Print
Carrol Wiggel & Maurice Friedland #2
2008
Lambda Chromogenic Print
Catalogue Number: TCH-026

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RICHARD MARK DOBSON The Crest Hotel Lambda Chromogenic Print
Carrol Wiggel & Maurice Friedland #3
2008
Lambda Chromogenic Print
Catalogue Number: TCH-027

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RICHARD MARK DOBSON The Crest Hotel Lambda Chromogenic Print
William Maleka
2008
Lambda Chromogenic Print
Catalogue Number: TCH-028

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RICHARD MARK DOBSON The Crest Hotel Lambda Chromogenic Print
Bernice Goldman #1
2008
Lambda Chromogenic Print
Catalogue Number: TCH-029

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RICHARD MARK DOBSON The Crest Hotel Lambda Chromogenic Print
Bernice Goldman #2
2008
Lambda Chromogenic Print
Catalogue Number: TCH-030

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RICHARD MARK DOBSON The Crest Hotel Lambda Chromogenic Print
Bernice Goldman #3
2008
Lambda Chromogenic Print
Catalogue Number: TCH-031

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RICHARD MARK DOBSON The Crest Hotel Lambda Chromogenic Print
Bernice Goldman #4
2008
Lambda Chromogenic Print
Catalogue Number: TCH-032

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RICHARD MARK DOBSON The Crest Hotel Lambda Chromogenic Print
Exit
2008
Lambda Chromogenic Print
Catalogue Number: TCH-033

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RICHARD MARK DOBSON The Crest Hotel Lambda Chromogenic Print
Mpumi Nxumalo-Widow
2008
Lambda Chromogenic Print
Catalogue Number: TCH-034

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RICHARD MARK DOBSON The Crest Hotel Lambda Chromogenic Print
The Dead Pool # 2
2008
Lambda Chromogenic Print
Catalogue Number: TCH-035

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RICHARD MARK DOBSON The Crest Hotel Lambda Chromogenic Print
The Dead Pool # 3
2008
Lambda Chromogenic Print
Catalogue Number: TCH-036

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RICHARD MARK DOBSON The Crest Hotel Lambda Chromogenic Print
The Dead Pool # 4
2008
Lambda Chromogenic Print
Catalogue Number: TCH-037

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RICHARD MARK DOBSON The Crest Hotel Lambda Chromogenic Print
untitled #4
2008
Lambda Chromogenic Print
Catalogue Number: TCH-038

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RICHARD MARK DOBSON The Crest Hotel Lambda Chromogenic Print
Armin Nunlist #1
2008
Lambda Chromogenic Print
Catalogue Number: TCH-039

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RICHARD MARK DOBSON The Crest Hotel Lambda Chromogenic Print
Armin Nunlist #2
2008
Lambda Chromogenic Print
Catalogue Number: TCH-040

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RICHARD MARK DOBSON The Crest Hotel Lambda Chromogenic Print
The Dining Room #1
2008
Lambda Chromogenic Print
Catalogue Number: TCH-041

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RICHARD MARK DOBSON The Crest Hotel Lambda Chromogenic Print
The Dining Room #2
2008
Lambda Chromogenic Print
Catalogue Number: TCH-042

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RICHARD MARK DOBSON The Crest Hotel Lambda Chromogenic Print
The Mail Boxes
2008
Lambda Chromogenic Print
Catalogue Number: TCH-043

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