Sean Metelerkamp
Born 1984 in Knysna, South Africa.

Sean’s fascination with photography began at the age of sixteen in the darkroom at boarding school. The rarity of home became an escape from his small-town South African surroundings through the surreal music videos of MTV.

Sean’s career started in Cape Town in 2008; photographing local musicians and directing music videos. The most notable of these was a collaboration with Die Antwoord.
After directing the music video Zef Side, which was selected as one of the Top 25 Videos in YouTube Play, exhibiting at Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum New York in 2010, Sean was invited to a six month residency with Residency Unlimited in New York.

A pattern of immersive photographic inquiry began in 2010 when Sean’s brother was committed into the Drug Education Council (Christian Life Skills) Ministries in Noupoort. DEC was an eight month end-of-the-line rehabilitation facility for substance abuse, and upon request, Sean was accepted into the Ministry for month-long stays over four years. Those on the program became conduits of a visual and verbal dialogue for Sean who sought to understand and therefore better deal with the devastating situation of a loved one suffering with addiction.
Noupoort is due for a 2018 release.

As somewhat of a solitary personality, Sean has naturally worked with subject matter on the edges of society. Building relationships on this frontier, and working in direct response to his curiosities at the time, Sean has produced work from video projects for Death Grips; an illusive cult phenomenon hip-hop outfit, to Monte Rosa; a house dedicated to taking care of elderly people with few connections left in the world.

For the last several years Sean has been looking closely at the varying identities and cultures around South Africa, committed to examining the ways people and society relate to their worlds and what does getting left behind mean when times change.

In 2014, twenty years after democracy in South Africa, Sean journeyed throughout the country examining to what extent Nelson Mandela’s vision had been achieved.
Twenty Journey was a successfully funded Kickstarter project that enabled him, along with two fellow photographers from different cultural backgrounds, to travel for seven months, and capture all nine provinces of their homeland.
The culmination of the journey resulted two independently acclaimed followup releases:
A self published Twenty Journey Booklet which was nominated for Design Indaba’s annual ‘Most Beautiful Object in South Africa’ award. And in 2016, Sean opened the country’s most prestigious film festival, the Durban International Film Festival, and won the award for Best South African Documentary for his first feature length documentary: The Journeymen – Details of a puzzled country; a non linear portrait of South Africa today.

Sean’s work has been exhibited and screened at gallery’s and festivals internationally. He has given lectures at universities, colleges, as well as communities in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban.


2016: Twenty Journey, KZNSA, Durban.
2015: Life Framer, Think Tank Gallery, Los Angeles. Juraplatz, Switzerland. Galerie Oberkampf, Paris. Menier Gallery, London.
2015: Twenty Journey, Commune1, Cape Town.
2014: See without looking, hear without listening, breathe without asking, Kalashnikovv Gallery, Johannesburg.
2013: Spectacle: The Music Video, Museum of the Moving Image, New York.
2013: Time and Space, Black Box, Cape Town.
2012: Land of Tomorrow, Expanded Music Project, Louisville, Kentucky.
2012: Spectacle: The Music Video, Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati.
2011: Autumn Show, Museum Photographic Art Gallery, Cape Town.
2011: Lumen video art and projection, Staten Island, New York.
2010: YouTube Play, Top 25 Videos, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice. Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao. Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin.

2016: Best South African Documentary for ‘The Journeymen’ at Durban International Film Festival.
2015: Winner of Life Framer’s 4th Edition ‘Theme 4/Open Call’.
2011: D&AD Yellow Pencil Award for Best Music Video ‘Die Antwoord – Zef Side’, London.
2010: YouTube Play, Top 25 Videos, ‘Die Antwoord – Zef Side’, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York.

2011: Residency Unlimited, New York.