Kaolafe Saam

Kaolafe Saam is a site-specific exhibition that brings together many variant photographers and photography works together in an old, disused electric factory.

The venue, unused for many years, is in the inner city’s industrial area and has been used as a book-binding factory, an art house, a framing factory, and electric factory and sales point. Representative of many layers of the history of the city, of its shifts in occupation, functionality and resident populations, the space serves as a meeting point of many different places, times and ideas.

The terms Kaolafe and Saam are both colloquial terms used by different peoples to mean coming together. The exhibition therefore, stands as a coming together of students works, of students from different places, points of viewand kinds of interest. Mimicking the layering of meaning evident in the building, the coming together of selected photography works of Foundation, Intermediate and Advanced students, presents variant frames of reference and interpretation in images.

As the students state: “The exhibition addresses issues around their differences, and the intention of this exhibition is to visually interrogate issues which make them different, the issues that make their worlds collide; such as their backgrounds, class, race, gender, or culture. It’s about the point at which their worlds meet and how this point of collision in itself is a meeting of the different forces.” The graduating Advanced Programme students, through a curatorial internship that they have been working on for the past four weeks, have produced the exhibition. The internship has seen the students visit various galleries, and speak to practising curators such as David Brodie of Stevenson Johannesburg and Gabi Ncobo of the Centre for Historical Re-enactments. The students have had to develop the exhibition concept, source a site, project-manage production and curate the exhibition.

Photographers on exhibition include Motlabana Monnakgotla, Lebohang Kganye, Morne Wright, Jerry Gaegane, Onthatile Modise, Sheldon Windrim and many others.

Vinyl installation of text on the Kaofela Saam exhibition.
Installation shot showing photographs of Lebohang Kganye and Sheldon Windrim.