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Antonia Brown | Research Trip

Switzerland | Visual Arts

November 2021 — Visual Arts

Antonia Brown

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South African artist Antonia Brown will spend time in Biel and Geneva from 20 October 2021 on a research trip collaborating with Swiss partners to continue exploring her research on the coloniality of plants. Her research will focus on how medicinal plant practices proffer a space of speculative somatics; as well as a means of readdress to dislocative practices that have lineages in histories of extraction.

This research trip emerges from a collaborative text Antonia wrote with Swiss artist Matheline Marmy in 2020 titled Bacteria, Surrogates and the Underexposed for the Geneva-based HIT Journal. Antonia’s contribution centred around her experiments with making Absinthe, swapping the traditional botanical ingredient Artemisia Abysinthium for its Southern African counterpart, Artemisia Afra. The two artists’ long-term intention is to produce a duo-exhibition that continues the conversations and trajectories established in this text. In a first step towards this, Antonia and Matheline will give a public presentation on 30 October 2021.

For her solo exhibition The still at Lokal Int in Biel opening on 28 October, Antonia will install an alembic that is in the process of distilling the ‘Absinthe’ that follows the recipe referred to in the journal text. This will be conceived of in dialogue with Distillerie du Leman, to produce the alcohol for the installation. The show will look to conditions of hyper saturation, as a form of reaching out.

During the research period Antonia will visit the Emma Kunz Centre and Grotto in Würnelos, the Goetheanum in Dornach and ‘Modern Nature Homage to Derek Jarman’ at La Becque.


Antonia Brown is an artist based between Cape Town and Brussels. Her practice develops mainly in sculpture, though she at times works with film and writing. In her practice she uses distortion as a device, to find a position of inter-embodiment or inhabitation. She holds a BA in Fine Arts from the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, and a MA in Fine Arts from the Piet Zwart Institute in Rotterdam. She has partaken in various art residencies including Fondazione Ratti in 2016 and Cite International des Arts, Paris in 2017. In 2013 she was the recipient of the Martienssen Prize and the Newwork Prize in 2014. Her work has recently been shown at SB34 (Brussels, 2021), Pracownia Portretu (Lodz, 2021) Het Archief (Rotterdam, 2021), Unterholz/ Understorey at Oberes Heustadlwasser, (Vienna, 2021) and EMAF (Osnabrück, 2021). Her past shows include, among others,  Again, and then again, as well, too, in 2014 at Wits Art Museum, Johannesburg and Fictitious Legacies in 2018 at Island, Brussels.


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