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Ke ile ka tswela pele ka ho tereka a ntse a bua, from the series Reconstruction of a Family

Ke ile ka tswela pele ka ho tereka a ntse a bua, from the series Reconstruction of a Family

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Lebohang Kganye

A leading figure in the new generation of South African photographers, Lebohang Kganye is based in Johannesburg, where she studied fine arts at the University of Johannesburg. Although Kganye primarily considers herself to be a photographer, she often incorporates elements of sculpture, performance, theater, and film into her practice. Her work interrogates the role that photographs play in the formation of both memory and fantasy. She often alters photographs to merge archival images with fictional ones. This photograph belongs to the series Reconstruction of a Family from 2016. This series consists of six photographs along with an animated film that “confront how family photo albums no longer have a fixed narrative but instead open us to reinterpret our past.” “Perhaps,” the artist wonders, “this kind of reinterpretation is an interrogation of our need to preserve a certain narrative.” The images presented in such albums are never complete, but rather a singular moments filled with visual cues; our minds then fill in a narrative from image to image to complete the story. To construct these photographs, the artist creates silhouette cutouts of family members and other props from family photos to create a diorama, which is then shot. The titles of the works appear both in Southern Sotho, a Southern Bantu language of the Sotho-Tswana group that is one of South Africa’s eleven official languages, as well as English. Through these images and one family’s history, the larger chronicle of South Africa before and during Apartheid and the lacunae of collective memory is implied.
Lebohang Kganye
(South African, b. 1990)
Ke ile ka tswela pele ka ho tereka a ntse a bua, from the series Reconstruction of a Family
Inkjet print
21 x 31 1/2 in. image
Sara Guyer and Scott Straus Contemporary African Art Initiative made possible by the Straus Family Foundation
Accession No.
South Africa


2020, sold by Afronova Gallery (Johannesburg, South Africa) to the Chazen Museum of Art

  • Chazen Museum of Art. "Insistent Presence: Contemporary African Art from the Chazen Collection." Madison, WI: Regents to the University of Wisconsin System and New York: Thames & Hudson, 2023. p. 55, cat. no. 19

  • Insistent Presence: Contemporary African Art from the Chazen Collection: Chazen Museum of Art, 9/5/2023–12/23/2023

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