Bronwyn Katz: /xabi, 2021 / Art Basel 2023 Unlimited

Official description: This installation is a system of notation developed by Bronwyn Katz to signify the phonetics of an imagined creole language. Titled /xabi, it comprises sound, letters materialized through steel and rock, and her ‘curtains of rain’ made of copper. The work makes specific reference to the forms of the Driekopseiland – a rock engraving site located on the Gama-!ab River in the Northern Cape of South Africa – whose petroglyphs are covered during the rainy season and exposed during drought. Katz is interested in this intervention of water in the creation of signs, symbols, and language. Through the sound produced by moving salt water in her mouth, healing a hole left by an extracted tooth, Katz creates an awareness of the connection between earth and body, entities marked by scars and memory, and moving water as a voice of healing.

Bronwyn Katz (born 1993 in Kimberley, South Africa) incorporates sculpture, installation, video, and performance to engage with land as a repository of memory and trauma, reflecting on the notion of place or space as lived experience, and the ability of the land to remember and communicate the memory of its occupation. Katz lives and works in Cape Town.

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