Matthew Kay and Jay Caboz have something in common. They are both white photographers who come from a middle-class background and are trying to find their place in post-apartheid South Africa. The difference is that Kay has lived in the natal countryside and Caboz has lived in Johannesburg all their lives.
Together they create a conversation about memory and belonging. Their plan is simple. Go to the towns where the other was born and interpret it, by drawing on their own experiences of the landscapes they grew up with.
Trans-memory is an exploration into the South African landscape that goes beyond personal dislocation. It seeks to explore the dislocation as young white males in South Africa by deliberately placing them in unfamiliar landscapes.
Caboz and Kay approached Trans-memory in very different ways. Kay prefers to use traditional medium format black and white film. Caboz opted to use colour digital photography, artificially lighting his landscape with portable strobe lights.
Kay’s image are inspired by the ever changing growth and spacial shifts occurring within densely populated areas and as a document recording transitional periods of man-made structures.
Caboz was inspired by the unnaturalness of a midlands forest plantation. Forests part-and-parcel of the midlands identity, but are in no way indigenous to the South African landscape.
Put together, a conversation is created is one of parallel memories that are so closely linked by social upbringing, but will inevitably be different because of the experience of country and city.