blank projects is pleased to present / // ! ǂ , a solo exhibition by Bronwyn Katz.
In this, her third exhibition with the gallery, Katz has developed a new system of notation to signify the phonetics of an imagined creole language. Through the creation of new visual forms realised as sculptures and installation made of iron ore, steel, copper and string, and by incorporating aspects of sound and performance, / // ! ǂ explores, through collaboration, the interactions between the visual and the aural, taking cues from Katz’s own personal relationship to language and the voice.
The title of the exhibition denotes four selected click consonants from Khoekhoe and other Southern African languages, some of which face extinction due to colonisation. These four click consonants and their signifiers were in many ways the starting point for Katz’s conception of the project, informing both the visual forms, or orthography, and sounds of her imagined language.
Primarily engaging the mouth, tongue and hands, the phonetic construction of the language further creates – by design – an awareness of the rest of the body and its gestures. For Katz, the intention for her ‘made-up’ language is to be readable through touch, sound and sight, both in conjunction with one another and independently, and in so doing it offers an alternative mode of reading and understanding language and the aural.
Incorporating sculpture, installation, video and performance, Bronwyn Katz’s practice engages with concepts of mapping, memory and language relative to land and culture. Often using found materials as the departure point for her works, Katz’s approach to making is driven foremost by formal concerns such as composition and line, expressed in an abstract minimalist language. Conceptually, her sculptures refer to the political context of their making, embodying subtle acts of resistance that draw attention to the social constructions and boundaries that continue to define those spaces.
Katz is a founding member of iQhiya, an 11-women artist collective which has performed across various spaces, including Documenta (in Kassel and Athens), Greatmore Studios, and Iziko South African National Gallery.
Born in 1993, in Kimberley, South Africa, Katz lives and works between Cape Town and Johannesburg.
The artist wishes to acknowledge and thank sonic artist & performer BŪJIN / Dani Kyengo O’Neill and fashion designer Tsepo Tsotetsi for their contributions to the exhibition.