Sue Williamson & Lebohang Kganye: Tell Me What You Remember
Until May 21, 2023
A cross-generational dialogue featuring two of South Africa’s most acclaimed contemporary artists.
Adults $25; students $5; members free
About the Exhibition
Three decades after the dismantling of apartheid began, South Africa's so-called "born free" generation has reached adulthood and its artists have used their work to navigate their difficult inheritance. At the same time, the historical distance between their experience and that of an older generation grows. Tell Me What You Remember reflects on this moment by bringing together two of South Africa’s most acclaimed contemporary artists.
In their respective practices, Sue Williamson (b. 1941) and Lebohang Kganye (b. 1990) incorporate oral histories into films, photographs, installations, and textiles to consider how the stories our elders tell us shape family narratives and personal identities. Implicitly and explicitly addressing legacies of racial violence and social injustice, their work offers a cross-generational dialogue on history, memory, and the power of self-narration.
The exhibition is curated by Emma Lewis, curator at Turner Contemporary, Margate, England.
Explore intergenerational conversations through photography, films, textiles, and installations.
Top: Lebohang Kganye. Untouched by the ancient caress of time, 2022, from In Search for Memory, 2020–22. © Lebohang Kganye. Courtesy of the artist. Bottom: Sue Williamson. Storyboard for “What is this thing called freedom?” (Buhle Siwani), 2016. Courtesy of the artist and Goodman Gallery, Cape Town, Johannesburg, and London
Left: Sue Williamson. Annie Silinga, Langa I, 1983, from All Our Mothers, 1981–ongoing. Courtesy of the artist and Goodman Gallery, Cape Town, Johannesburg, and London. Right: Lebohang Kganye. Maria Magadeni Mkhalipi from Mosebetsi wa Dirithi, 2022. © Lebohang Kganye. Courtesy of the artist
Left: Lebohang Kganye. Moketeng wa letsatsi la tswalo la ho qala wa moradi waka II from Ke Lefa Laka: Her-story, 2013. © Lebohang Kganye. Courtesy of the artist. Right: Sue Williamson. Detail from A Tale of Two Cradocks, 1994. Courtesy of the artist and Goodman Gallery, Cape Town, Johannesburg, and London
Top: Lebohang Kganye. Re intshitse mosebetsing II from Ke Lefa Laka: Her-story, 2013. © Lebohang Kganye. Courtesy of the artist. Bottom: Sue Williamson and Siyah Ndawela Mgoduka. Still from That particular morning, 2019, from No More Fairy Tales, 2016–19. Courtesy of the artist and Goodman Gallery, Cape Town, Johannesburg, and London
About the Artists
Sue Williamson was born in Lichfield, England, in 1941. Her family emigrated to South Africa when she was seven years old. After beginning her career in journalism, Williamson moved to New York in 1964 and worked as a copywriter on Madison Avenue. She also took classes in printmaking and drawing at the Art Students League of New York.
Returning to Cape Town in 1969, where she lives today, Williamson continued her studies in fine art. She would become part of a generation of artists who felt it was their responsibility to use their work in the struggle against apartheid. Her participation in the first meeting of the multiracial Women’s Movement for Peace in 1976 marked the beginning of her activism. It also brought her into contact with many of the people whose stories are told throughout her work.
Since the 1980s, Williamson’s work has spanned printmaking, site-specific sculpture, installation, video, and photography—all in the name of recording histories that would otherwise be overlooked or erased.
Lebohang Kganye was born in Katlehong, South Africa, in 1990. Following an early interest in journalism and literature, studies at Johannesburg’s Market Photo Workshop—founded in 1989 and renowned for its commitment to socially engaged photography—changed the course of her career. After completing the advanced diploma, Kganye went on to study fine arts and is currently pursuing her MFA at the University of the Witwatersrand, in Johannesburg, where she lives today.
Over the past decade, language and oral tradition have become cornerstones of Kganye’s artistic practice. In 2010, the death of her mother prompted Kganye to travel across South Africa to trace her maternal ancestry. The stories she collected in conversations with her extended family became the source material for her work, an archive that she continues to draw upon today. These stories also revealed how her family history intersects with South Africa’s political and social past.
Image © Sue Williamson. Courtesy of the artist and Goodman Gallery, Cape Town, Johannesburg, and London
Photo by Audoin Desforges
Sue Williamson & Lebohang Kganye: Tell Me What You Remember
This richly illustrated catalogue, edited by exhibition curator Emma Lewis, features essays that consider themes of voice, testimony, ancestry, and care, and a dialogue between and Sue Williamson and Lebohang Kganye that explores how art can mobilize the healing powers of conversation. Hardcover; 152 Pages
Additional support is provided by the Honickman Family.
Ongoing support for exhibitions comes from the Christine and Michael Angelakis Exhibition Fund, the Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Exhibition Fund, the Lois and Julian Brodsky Exhibition Fund, the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, the Christine and George Henisee Exhibition Fund, Aileen and Brian Roberts, and the Tom and Margaret Lehr Whitford Exhibition Fund.
In addition, funding for all exhibitions comes from contributors to the Barnes Foundation Exhibition Fund:
Joan Carter and John Aglialoro, Julia and David Fleischner, Leigh and John Middleton, Jeanette and Joe Neubauer
John Alchin and Hal Marryatt, Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz, Lois and Julian Brodsky, N. Judith Broudy, Laura and Bill Buck, Elaine W. Camarda and A. Morris Williams, Jr., Eugene and Michelle Dubay, Penelope P. Harris, Jones & Wajahat Family, Lisa D. Kabnick and John H. McFadden, Victor F. Keen and Jeanne Ruddy, Marguerite Lenfest, Maribeth and Steven Lerner, Leslie Miller and Richard Worley Foundation, Hilarie and Mitchell Morgan, The Park Family, Wendy and Mark Rayfield, Adele K. Schaeffer, Katie and Tony Schaeffer, Dr. and Mrs. Eugene E. Stark, Joan F. Thalheimer, Bruce and Robbi Toll, van Beuren Charitable Foundation, The Victory Foundation, Kirsten White, Randi Zemsky and Bob Lane, Anonymous.
Member Previews: Tell Me What You Remember
Thursday, March 2–Saturday, March 4, 10am – 5pm
Members are invited to see the exhibition before it opens to the public.
Curators in Conversation: Tell Me What You Remember
Saturday, March 4, 10:30 – 11:30am
This dialogue features artists Sue Williamson and Lebohang Kganye in conversation with curator Emma Lewis.
Beginning March 9, Thursday–Monday, 1 pm
Take a closer look at works by Sue Williamson and Lebohang Kganye and learn about artists’ focus on oral histories and intergenerational conversations.
Private Exhibition Tours
Beginning March 9, Thursday–Monday, 10 am, 11 am, 2 pm
This tour is a private one-hour experience for you and up to seven guests.
Members-Only Exhibition Tours
Thursdays, March 9 – May 18, 2 – 3pm
Members are invited to exclusive docent-led tours of Tell Me What You Remember.
Members-Only Online Tour: Tell Me What You Remember
Wednesdays, March 15 & 29, 2 – 3pm
These exclusive virtual tours explore the works and themes represented in the exhibition.
First Friday! Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra
Friday, March 3, 6 – 9pm
This performance celebrates Women’s History Month and includes access to the collection galleries and Tell Me What You Remember before it opens to the public.
PECO Free First Sunday Family Day: Art of Math
Sunday, March 5, 10am – 5pm
Art making, fun family activities, and performances, plus free access to the collection and Tell Me What You Remember on opening day.
Online Class: Art and Apartheid with Sue Williamson
Thursdays, March 9–30, noon–2 pm
Sue Williamson leads this course that examines the influence of apartheid on the artists of South Africa. Guest speakers include fellow Barnes exhibitor Lebohang Kganye; artists Bongiwe Dhlomo, Sam Nhlengethwa, and Penny Siopis; and art historian Andrew Lamprecht.
Online Class: African Photography: The Art of Writing with Light
Fridays, April 14–May 5, noon–2 pm
Survey the histories of photography in Africa from the 1840s to today with instructor Giulia Paoletti.