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Levana Katz

Everything is Muscle and Exists


Artist statement

Everything is Muscle and Exists is a series of lithograph and cyanotype print sculptures, inspired by traditional Jewish marriage contracts, known as ketubot. These are delicately hand drafted documents, which often showcase a combination of traditional Hebrew calligraphy, drawing, paper cutting, and other image-making processes. Katz draws upon the Hebrew calligraphy practice of her mother, who crafted many ketubot throughout her career. 

In this series, she focuses on the phrase "הכל שריר וקיים" found at the end of ketubot, which signifies the binding and enduring nature of the contract. By exploring the etymology of the Hebrew words, Katz discovered the phrase could be interpreted as "Everything is muscle and exists.” The lithograph and cyanotype prints in this work feature the use of deconstructed calligraphy, as well as drawings inspired by the ideas within the phrase. By cutting, glueing and sewing the prints together, she creates sculptures with the ability to expand and retract, assume dynamic shapes, and adapt to the space they inhabit. Katz’s treatment of Hebrew letters in this work transports the script to new contexts; as she bridges her drawing practice and familial artistry, she explores the impact of her Jewish cultural heritage on her material interests.

Cyanotype on paper

Artist’s biography

Levana Katz is an interdisciplinary artist based in Tiohtià:ke/Mooniyang (Montréal), where she graduated with a BFA in Painting and Drawing from Concordia University. Driven by her interest in material processes, she works in drawing, printmaking and fibres. Her practice explores how her memories and family histories present themselves in objects and space, as she investigates how her Jewish cultural traditions impact her relationship to her surroundings. She is interested in processes that link, mend, and make connections between materials, or bridge different memories and points in time. Recently, Katz has shown her work at several galleries in Montréal, including Arprim and Ada X. After receiving the Prix Albert-Dumouchel, she completed a residency at L’imprimerie Centre d’artistes. Katz is currently doing a year-long residency as the Don Wright Scholar at St. Michael’s Printshop in St. John’s, Newfoundland.

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