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About five years ago Swiss artist couple Leif Bennett and Yvonne Mueller were in SA on a six-month artist exchange programme. They spent three months in Joburg and three in Cape Town. In Joburg, they stayed first in Maboneng and later in Troyeville, and had studios at the Bag Factory in Fordsburg. As they commuted, they noticed various abandoned buildings in the CBD, and began photographing them. They were particularly fascinated by the Carlton Hotel, once considered the best hotel in Africa, which had stood empty and untouched for nearly two decades. On one particular photographic tour, their guide managed to sneak them inside. They were stunned by what they saw. "It’s almost like the building is a ghost," said Bennett in a Skype interview from Basel in Switzerland, where he and Mueller live. It appeared as if nothing had been disturbed since the hotel closed its doors in 1998. There was no evidence of life; no graffiti. In the week before they left Joburg for Cape Town, Bennett an...

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