Johannesburg, South Africa
Ke sale teng (2017)
Family photographs are more than just a documentation of events that have occurred, but a space for us to project what we can recall and perhaps a space to question and invent a new history. Ke sale teng confronts how family photo albums no longer have a fixed narrative but instead open us to reinterpret our past and perhaps this kind of reinterpretation is an interrogation of our need to preserve a certain narrative. Photo albums are arranged as if to tell life stories and testimonies and build identities, however the image is never ‘complete’ we are only presented with visual clues that allows our own imaginaries to further ‘complete’ the story.
The more I researched my family history, it becomes apparent that family history remains a space of contradictions, it is a mixture of truth and fiction. Sometimes we rely on the family photo album as a way to understand what family is meant to be. What we often land up with is a grouping of images that have been constructed, and perhaps do not account at all for the histories and memories that are connected with that album. Through the use of silhouette cutouts of family members and other props in a diorama, the film confronts the conflicting stories, which are told in multiple ways, even by the same person - memory combined with fantasy. Such archives do not reveal easy answers, for me they reveal that time can break apart and reconnect and not quite fit back into one another.
Lebohang Kganye is an artist living and working in Johannesburg. Kganye received her introduction to photography at the Market Photo Workshop, in Johannesburg in 2009 and completed the Advanced Photography Programme in 2011. She also completed her Fine Arts studies at the University of Johannesburg in 2016 and forms a new generation of contemporary South African photographers.
Although primarily a photographer, Kganye’s photography often incorporates her interest in sculpture and performance. Over the past seven years she has participated in photography masterclasses and group exhibitions locally and internationally. Kganye was the recipient of the Tierney Fellowship Award in 2012, leading to her solo exhibition Ke Lefa Laka. She created an animation from the series, which was launched on Mandela Day 2014 in Scotland, entitled Pied Piper’s Voyage. She was also awarded the Jury Prize at the Bamako Encounters Biennale of African Photography in 2015 and was the recipient of the CAP Prize 2016 in Basel. Kganye recently received the coveted award for the Sasol New Signatures Competition 2017, leading to a solo show in 2018. Kganye’s work forms part of several private and public collections, most notably the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pennsylvania and the Walther Collection in Ulm.