In recognition of its visual inventiveness, historical rigor, and daring conceptualization, the jury was pleased to unanimously select Lebohang Kganye’s Staging Memories project as the winner of the Grand Prix Images Vevey.
Staging Memories is a particular development in Lebohang Kganye’s new series entitled In Search for Memory begun in 2020. In this series Kganye proposes to “offer a response to the fictional novella by Malawian writer Muhti Nhlema titled Ta O’Reva, seeking so to interrogate the human need to retain and recall shared narratives and exploring the contradictions and fictions therein”.
Lebohang Kganye’s project applies an intriguing and resonant approach to the ways personal and familial experiences intersect with wider societal realities. She employs archival photographic imagery, much of it derived from family albums, and moves that material across a seamless series of genres: photography, collage, installation, and set design. Born in South Africa and based in Johannesburg, Kganye has a practice deeply informed by the concerns and techniques of master artists from South Africa like William Kentridge, David Goldblatt, Sam Nhlengethwa, and Zanele Muholi. But she is very much working in her own unique voice, which melds the fantastical, the political, and the intimate in strong and exciting ways.
Staging Memories is rooted in specific post-Apartheid realities, but it calls out with a clear voice across the world, confirming once again that history is always local as well as global. In Lebohang Kganye’s capable and fearless hands, we are given an opportunity to encounter the world in new frames: playful and dark, accessible and challenging, steadily mournful and indomitably hopeful”.
For the first public iteration of Staging Memories, Lebohang will conceive for Images Vevey in September 2022 a large-scale three-dimensional installation exploring the materiality of photography in dialogue with the disciplines of theatre and literature.
The jury of the Grand Prix Images Vevey is chaired by the photographer, curator and writer Teju Cole, and composed of Frederica Angelucci (director, Stevenson Gallery), Milena Carstens (director of photography, ZEITmagazin) Julien Guerrier (director of publication, Louis Vuitton) and Shoair Mavlian (director, Photoworks).
Lebohang Kganye (ZA) was born in 1990 in Johannesburg, where she currently lives and works. Kganye obtained a Diploma in Fine Arts from the University of Johannesburg in 2014 and is currently doing her Masters in Fine Arts at the Witwatersrand University.