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Sue Williamson & Lebohang Kganye: Tell Me What You Remember

March 5 – May 21, 2023

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.

Featured Artworks

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.

<p>Sue Williamson</p>

Sue Williamson

Image © Sue Williamson. Courtesy of the artist and Goodman Gallery, Cape Town, Johannesburg, and London

<p>Lebohang Kganye</p>

Lebohang Kganye

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


This exhibition is sponsored by

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.