Sean Metelerkamp was born in 1984 in Knysna, South Africa.
The darkroom at boarding school was a revelation and became the space where Sean began experimenting with photography. At home, on weekends and school-holidays, he escaped into the music videos of MTV’s golden age.
These two interests led to photographing and directing music videos for independent South African musicians, most notably Die Antwoord, peaking in the video Zef Side which was exhibited at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, in 2010, as well as the Guggenheim Museums in Bilboa, Berlin and Venice.
New York Times – “The Home Video rises to Museum Grade”
Zef-Side won the D&AD Yellow Pencil for Best Music Video in 2011 and was subsequently exhibited at the Museum of the Moving Image in Cincinnati and New York in 2013 as part of Spectacle, which explored the music video as an important and influential art form in contemporary culture.
A six-month residency ensued at Residency Unlimited. During this time Sean connected with Death Grips and together they made Black Google in 2010, followed a few years later with Eh and Interview 2016.
Returning home, to further explore his roots, Sean travelled throughout South Africa with an Afrikaner and Xhosa photographer in a kickstarter-funded project called Twenty Journey. The project culminated in Sean’s debut feature documentary, which opened the Durban International Film Festival and won the award for Best South African Documentary.
Variety – “Durban: Fest Opener ‘Journeymen’ Explores Authentic South Africa”
Sean spent time in Monte Rosa after is grandmother passed away
Sean voluntarily entered the Drug Education Council Ministries, in Noupoort, for three month-long stints between 2011 and 2013 in order to get closer to his brother’s struggle with drug and alcohol abuse. A self-published book was produced in 2020, which contains photographs and excerpts from interviews with the residents.
Street Melodies Eternal
Exhibited at Fotofestiwal, Łodz, Poland, 2017