Lebohang Kganye receives the Camera Austria Award for Contemporary Photography by the City of Graz 2019

Lebohang Kganye receives the Camera Austria Award for Contemporary Photography by the City of Graz 2019

Camera Austria

Lebohang Kganye, Ka 2-phisi yaka e pinky II, 2013, from the series “Ke Lefa Laka: Her-Story,” 2013. Courtesy: AFRONOVA GALLERY, Johannesburg.

November 11, 2019
Lebohang Kganye receives the Camera Austria Award for Contemporary Photography by the City of Graz 2019
Award ceremony: December 6, 6pm, a selection of Lebohang Kganye’s works will be presented during the ceremony.
Camera Austria
Lendkai 1
8020 Graz
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The Camera Austria Award for Contemporary Photography by the City of Graz, which is awarded bienially, will be bestowed on Lebohang Kganye in 2019. 

The ceremony will take place in the frame of the exhibition opening of Jochen Lempert (awardee 2017), the award will be presented by Dr. Günter Riegler, City Councillor for Cultural Affairs. The introductory address will be held by: Reinhard Braun (publisher Camera Austria International), Christina Töpfer (editor-in-chief), Taco Hidde Bakker (jury member), Nina Strand (jury member)

The jury founded their decision to honor Lebohang Kganye with the Camera Austria Award on the following statement:

“Lebohang Kganye’s animated photography offers an inventive look into her own family’s histories, and by implication the wider history of the South Africa from before and during Apartheid. We find her work to be bold, serious and playful in equal measure, while also being aesthetically innovative and politically relevant. By unfixing and reimagining the family photo album, Kganye investigates the instability and unreliability of memory in relation to personal and collective narratives. In her project ‘Ke Lefa Laka: Her-Story’ (2013) she does so by channeling her late mother through found photographs, inserting herself alongside her in photographs, and acting out her mother while wearing her clothes. Her mother was important for Kganye, ‘because of Apartheid and the history of our country, there is an absence of fathers in a lot of black families. I was raised by women in that sense, because, you know, fathers and husbands were gone for multiple reasons.’ In the follow-up series ‘Ke Lefa Laka: Heir-Story’ (2013) she dresses up as her grandfather, and through this act looks deeper into his opposition to Apartheid politics. She continues such explorations in her ongoing series ‘Reconstruction of a Family’ (2016–), where she tries to locate her family’s history and plays out the stories she has been told about her forebears. The jury considers Kganye’s work an important contribution to the global photographic scene and wishes this award to be an encouragement for her further artistic endeavours.”

Members of the jury:
Taco Hidde Bakker, author, Amsterdam (NL)
David Campany, curator, Biennale für aktuelle Fotografie, Mannheim, Ludwigshafen, Heidelberg (GB/DE)
Julia GrosseContemporary And (C&), Berlin (DE)
Nina StrandObjektiv, Oslo (NO)
Reinhard Braun, publisher Camera Austria International, Graz (AT)

Lebohang Kganye, born 1990 in Katlehong (ZA), is an artist living and working in Johannesburg (ZA). Kganye received her introduction to photography in 2009 at the Market Photo Workshop in Johannesburg, and she completed the Advanced Photography Programme in 2011. She also graduated with a degree in fine arts from the University of Johannesburg in 2016 and counts among a new generation of contemporary South African photographers. She was the recipient of the Tierney Fellowship Award in 2012, leading to her solo exhibition Ke Lefa Laka in Johannesburg. She was also awarded the Jury Prize at the Bamako Encounters Biennale of African Photography (ML) in 2015 and was the recipient of the Contemporary African Prize 2016 in Basel (CH). Kganye recently received the award for the Sasol New Signatures Competition 2017 in Pretoria (ZA), leading to a solo show in 2018. Her work forms part of several private and public collections, most notably the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pennsylvania (US) and the Walther Collection in Ulm (DE).

The Camera Austria Award for Contemporary Photography by the City of Graz was established in 1989 and is bestowed every two years on an artist who has published a noteworthy contribution in the magazine Camera Austria International and has made an important contribution to contemporary photography. The prize-money is EUR 15,000.

Lebohang Kganye’s work has been published in Camera Austria International no. 144/2018.

Previous recipients of the Camera Austria Award include:
2017: Jochen Lempert (Germany); 2015: Annette Kelm (Germany); 2013: Joachim Koester (Denmark/US); 2011: Heidrun Holzfeind (Austria); 2009: Sanja Iveković (Croatia); 2007: Marika Asatiani (Georgia); 2005: Walid Raad (Lebanon); 2003: Aglaia Konrad (Belgium); 2001: Allan Sekula (US); 1999: Hans-Peter Feldmann (Germany); 1995: David Goldblatt (South Africa); 1993: Seiichi Furuya (Japan/Austria); 1991: Olivier Richon (Switzerland/GB); and 1989: Nan Goldin (US).

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