In Old Family Photographs, South African Artist Lebohang Keganye Reenacts Her Late Mother’s Life

The deceased’s personal effects usually give many clues to the life that was lived. For South African artist Lebohang Keganye, her mother’s death spurred a desire to learn more about her, and it inspired a new art project. It was through this cathartic process that Kganye found the direction of her photography practice. She dressed in her mother’s clothes and styled her hair as she did, then reenacted the scenes, superimposing her own spectral image directly into the old family photographs. Kganye has now shown her photographs around the world, and next month she’ll represent South Africa at one of the art world’s largest events, the Venice Biennale, where she’ll show images from an early series in which she recasts herself in classic fairy tales but sets them in an African township.


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