Lebohang Kganye Wins Prestigious Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize 2024

Lebohang Kganye

The prestigious Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize has been awarded to South African artist Lebohang Kganye, celebrating her profound exploration of personal and national history through photography. The announcement was made during a special ceremony at The Photographers’ Gallery in London, with Justine Simons, Deputy Mayor for Culture and the Creative Industries, presenting the £30,000 prize.

Kganye’s acclaimed exhibition, “Haufi nana? I’ve come to take you home,” held at Foam in Amsterdam, secured her the award. The exhibition delves into home, belonging, and identity themes, reflecting the complex histories of post-apartheid South Africa. Her multifaceted artistic practice blends photography, sculpture, performance, theatre, and moving images to create evocative large-scale installations.

The exhibition’s title, “Haufi nana?”—”Too close?” in Sesotho—invites viewers to reimagine notions of space and separation. Kganye’s installation at The Photographers’ Gallery features life-sized cut-out figures of her family, meticulously crafted from photo album images. This work poignantly addresses the forced migrations and altered identities imposed by apartheid laws.

Upon receiving the prize, Kganye expressed her honour and acknowledged the critical engagement of her fellow shortlisted artists with contemporary issues. Clare Grafik, Acting Director of The Photographers’ Gallery and Chair of the Jury, praised Kganye’s innovative use of photography and highlighted her work’s emotional and political resonance.

Anne-Marie Beckmann, Director of the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation, also commended Kganye, noting the significance of her exploration of family history and its broader implications. Beckmann emphasised the powerful conversations about displacement, hidden histories, and the evolving nature of photography that the shortlisted artists’ works provoke.

The 2024 shortlisted artists—VALIE EXPORT, Gauri Gill & Rajesh Vangad, and Hrair Sarkissian—received £5,000. Their works are exhibited at The Photographers’ Gallery until June 2, 2024, before moving to the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation in Frankfurt.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the partnership between The Photographers’ Gallery and Deutsche Börse and the 25th anniversary of the Art Collection Deutsche Börse. The ongoing collaboration underscores a shared commitment to promoting contemporary photography and fostering cultural dialogue through art.

The Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize, established in 1996, has become one of the most significant international arts awards. It recognises exceptional contributions to contemporary photography and continues to celebrate and support artists who challenge and redefine the boundaries of the medium.

For more information and to view the exhibition, visit The Photographers’ Gallery or the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation websites.

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