Katharien de Villiers, Shisa Nyama/ Kom ons braai, 2019
Underlining the facilitated discourse is an exploration of the Afrikaans language. The artist and poet are both Western-Cape Afrikaans, but occupy very different locales within the language. Having the Whatsapp thread force both the poet and artist to engage their exchange through varied conversational explorations allows for the language to be deconstructed and reconstructed in multiple and complex ways, creating a process that constantly folds in onto itself. Elements of immediacy, redundancy, word limitation, voicenote, video and emoticons are emphasised to deal with concepts around language in a paradoxically simplistic way – so is the nature of Whatsapp. Ultimately the thread becomes an investigation of truth. By means of its unprompted structure, each thread-interaction is a response subject to the place, space and time the participant occupies when their phone rings with its Whastapp beep.
Alongside the editioned maps/prints, the exhibition is further informed by sculptural works and poetry created by the artist and poet post-Whatsapp-thread. The sculptures are crafted to host the poetry, allowing for a spatially interactive experience of the literature. Simultaneously the presence of the poetry in the artwork provides a different cognisance from where the artwork is perceived.