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FADA Home Preface About Artists

Keith Dietrich



Type of book work: Editioned / printed work
Dimensions: 315 x 180
Media: Cotton paper; tracing paper; book cloth

Artist's / designer's statements

Two digitally printed volumes constructed from tracing and cotton paper, sometimes punched with holes. Texts and images partly concealed in blackened pages or bound between the folds of the pages.

The book maps out 7 psychogeographic walks that I undertook in Dresden and Leipzig where I followed my great-grandfather's `shadow' between the places he lived in these cities before emigrating to South Africa in 1861. The work constitutes an interplay between loss of memory, silence, self-imposed silence, concealment and the loss of knowledge regarding past histories, events, entanglements and catastrophes, and plays with the notion of forgetting as repressive erasure and humiliated silence. Images and texts are read through transparent pages and between the folds as layers and intertexts inscribed over one another, and as such read as palimpsests.

Artist / Academic


1993 D Litt et Phil (Art History), Unisa, South Africa.
1983 MA (Fine Arts), Unisa, South Africa.
1977 Postgraduate diploma, National Higher Institute for Fine Arts, Antwerp, Belgium.
1974 BA (Visual Arts) Stellenbosch University, South Africa.


2014 Distinguished Professor Award, Stellenbosch University, South Africa.
2014 Research Fellowship, Universitšt Leipzig, Germany.
2011 Ampersand Foundation Fellowship, New York, USA.
2012 Stals Prize, South African Academy of Science and Arts, South Africa.
1988 Merit Award, Cape Town Triennial, South Africa.


2015 Artist's Books from South Africa, group exhibition, curated by Janet Stanley, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institute, Washington DC, USA
2014 Fragile Histories, Fugitive Lives, solo exhibition, Iziko Slave Lodge, Cape Town, South Africa.
2007 Fourteen Stations of the Cross, solo exhibition, Fried Contemporary, Pretoria, South Africa.
2005 Horizons of Babel, solo exhibition, Bell Roberts Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa.
2000 Bodies, Traces, Identities, solo exhibition, Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg South Africa.


Jack Ginsberg Collection, Johannesburg, South Africa.
National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Collection, Washington DC, USA.
Library of Congress, Washington DC, USA.
Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, USA.
Daimler-Benz, Stuttgart, Germany.

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