David Krut Projects is pleased to present EDEN – an exhibition of artworks by contemporary photographer Lebo Thoka whose feminism lends itself to her artistic practice. Included in this showcase are images from Thoka’s 2016 series titled It is well: An Ode to Karabo; Seeds of the Dirt from 2020 as well as new images titled Black of my Flesh 2020 & Initiation of Mary 2020.
EDEN is an exhibition that explores black womanhood with just as much grandiosity, just as much power, and limitlessness as the characters seen in the traditional western iconography. EDEN also examines the lived realities, and oppressive systems faced across the African diaspora.
Lebo Thoka uses her photography as an opportunity to create a reality where the central figure – a black femme character – is able to exist in an imagined utopia as a self-determined, multi-faceted being. The motifs and image constructs challenge the ideals of what defines divinity and who is deemed valuable by these traditional standards of representation. When it comes to reinterpreting religious scenes Thoka take something as simple as changing a colour scheme, and uses that as a way of subverting the Eurocentric ideals of divinity.
Exhibition Related Event
17 April 2021, 11 AM – Lebo Thoka will be in conversation with Dr. Kholeka Shange who has attained her doctorate in History of Art from the University of Witswatersand. The pair have previously been in dialogue about representation of black women in photography and Black feminisms. Join us as they continue this conversation in light of the new exhibition titled ‘EDEN’.
Live streaming of the event took place on the David Krut Projects Instagram. Watch the IGTV recording of the conversation between artist Lebo Thoka and Dr. Kholeka Shange here: Lebo Thoka instagram Live conversation with Dr Kholeka Shange 17 April 2021
Left: Artist lebo Thoka with Dr. Kholeka Shange in the David Krut Checkerboard Room for the exhibition titled EDEN.
Take a listen to the David Krut Podcast below where Britt Lawton speaks to artist/ photographer Lebo Thoka on the progression of her career since her first solo exhibition – It is well: Ode to Karabo –in 2018. Thoka explains the inspiration and influence of her photography series Seeds of the Dirt and also shares her conceptual framework and process.
David Krut Podcast – Lebo Thoka, Seeds of the Dirt | 28 minutes