Alterating Conditions: Performing Performance Art in South Africa

 Miss Congo, 2007, 3 channel video, sound, 4 min 44 sec, edition of 8 + 2AP. Courtesy of the artist and Whatiftheworld Gallery, Cape Town Miss Congo, 2007, 3 channel video, sound, 4 min 44 sec, edition of 8 + 2AP. Courtesy of the artist and Whatiftheworld Gallery, Cape Town

Jan 11 – Feb 15, 2011. Curator: Claudia Marion Stemberger

When Brian O’Doherty first published his famous essay Notes on the Gallery Space in 1976, he provocatively questioned the gallery space and system. Already one year earlier, RoseLee Goldberg had argued that the emerging arts practices at that time, as conceptual art or performance art, amongst others, negotiate space radically differently. 30 years later, Goldberg resumes that performance art today has, finally, become interesting for museums, but is still overlooked or rather presented as part of an event-like side programme of biennials or art fairs. Goldberg rather suggests to reflect how to give performance a specific time and space.

When it comes to the Bag Factory Artists’ Studios and GoetheonMain in Johannesburg, South Africa, both white-washed spaces, one might want to keep in mind, that the white cube is close-knit with (post-war) western art. How might either the production spaces at the Bag Factory or the project space at GoethonMain function for the presentation of performance art, while both the artists’ studio and the white cube are full of both internal (art) historical mythologies and connotations? Has performance art internalized the white cube - or even the black box - already? Or rather should the relationship between the notion of performance as (ephemeral) action and performative representation in media, such as video and photography, be challenged?

Throughout live-performances, performative video installations, performative photography, lectures, guides and talks, the exhibition project questions common notions of performance and performativity, the supposed (in)visibility of this art practice in South Africa and abroad.

+ info

12.01.2011 | by franciscabagulho | performance, South African

Welcome to Rocksburg

© Mpumelelo Paul Grootboom © Mpumelelo Paul Grootboom

Welcome to Rocksburg is the first installment of “The Rocksburg Trilogy”, a series of original South African “action plays” based on Township comic books that do not exist. This play is set in a fictional South African mining town called Rocksburg and its nearby black township, Matlapeng.
It revolves around a facially disfigured young man, derisively called “King Kong”, who has the body and the strength of Hercules. When he falls in love for the first time, with the girlfriend of a notorious township thug, this forces him into a life he had previously avoided quite successfully – the life of crime. He soon finds himself caught up in a cat and mouse game between the criminal underworld and a corrupt police force.
Intentionally using strong clichés in story and character, and stylistic mechanisms like slow motion and other devices found only in Township and Community theatre, the story is told in the much successful tradition of Hollywood action films, with a very powerful “Beauty and the Beast” type love story at its core.    see here

30.06.2010 | by martalanca | South African