Ternary Memories of Yesterday by Lebohang Kganye

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Ternary Memories of Yesterday by Lebohang Kganye

From May 04, 2023 16:00 to June 25, 2023 17:00


Ternary Memories of Yesterday by Lebohang Kganye

Galleri Image presents the exhibition Ternary Memories of Yesterday by Lebohang Kganye, which opens on Thursday 4 May from 4-6 pm.

Lebohang Kganye’s (ZA) solo exhibition Ternary Memories of Yesterday, showcases recent works that engage with in alternative and re-imagined narrative spaces, where contemporary struggles, alternate timelines and the artist’s own family history are blended together through a mixture of photography, installation and animation. 

While Kganye’s background is in photography and her work continues to revolve around it, the works in the exhibition do not consist of traditional photography, although they all make use of its materiality, presenting archival images in animated videos or original photography printed out and staged in a series of diorama installations.

In the series Keep the Light Faithfully, Lebohang Kganye re-imagines western literary depictions of the rarely known and gendered narratives of hundreds of women light keepers from the nineteenth and twentieth century. While there is no historical evidence of female lighthouse keepers in South Africa, Kganye weaves the female lightkeepers in literary history into the works. Each work is based on conversations with seven lightkeepers, both former and in-service, living in some of the most isolated parts of South Africa along the Western, Northern and Eastern Cape coastlines. Lebohang Kganye translates these oral histories into small, contained worlds by staging inkjet print cut-outs, displaying them as small “scenes” made up of small movable pieces that can be shifted, allowing space for the viewer to imagine what lies beyond what is depicted. 

In addition to Keep the Light Faithfully, the exhibition also includes two animated films, Shadows of Re-Memory and Ke Sale Teng.

In Ke Sale Teng, Kganye makes use of archival images from her own family’s photo albums, exploring how such albums can be used to construct a partially fictitious representation of a family history through what is omitted from the narrative.  

In Shadows of Re-Memory, Kganye once again stages a narrative based in fact, presenting imagined animated scenes based on the oral histories of a collection of residents from in the village of Nieu Bethesda in the Karoo, Eastern Cape. 

The result is an exhibition that in combining fantasy, oral histories and documented events, challenges accepted narratives of history, whether they are presented to us through literature, history books or our own family albums.

Lebohang Kganye (b. 1990) is a South African artist born and based in Johannesburg. She was educated at the Market Photo Workshop and the University of Johannesburg and is currently getting an MFA at Witwatersrand University. Kganye represented South Africa at the 2022 Venice Biennial and her work has been exhibited widely in the United States, Africa and Europe. Although primarily a photographer, her interest in the materiality of photography is ongoing and explored in myriad ways, through her use of the sculptural, performative, theatrical and the moving image. Her exhibition Haufi nyana? I’ve come to take you home is currently on display at the Foam Museum in Amsterdam, and she is the 16th winner of their prestigious Foam Paul Huf Award. 

In conjunction with the exhibition, Galleri Image will present a seminar with the artist Lebohang Kganye, the renowned South African curator John Fleetwood and the Danish artist Ditte Haarløv Johnsen. Further details about the event can be found here. 

The exhibition is supported by the Danish Arts Foundation, the Augustinus Foundation, the Louis Hansen Foundation and the Obel Family Foundation.

Photo credit: Lighthouse burials, 2022. Lebohang Kganye