Performance Art and interdisciplinary collaboration have long and checkered histories. Globally, these developments have been anarchic as well as institutional, embracing a paradox inherent in attempts to formalise a process of breaking boundaries of discipline and transgressing the exclusive rules contained in hermetically sealed forms of expression. The post colonial South African context further provides a rich playground for such impulses and discourse: those that look at the paradox of containment and anarchy and discourses that argue for institutionalizing inventiveness and creativity in times of acute change, reconstruction and redress.
Sandwiched between public art festival, Infecting the City and Design Indaba, this colloquium on interdisciplinary performance and performance art is a talk/think/do tank of artists, academics, festival directors and curators, journalists and writers. Conceptualised and convened by Jay Pather, this meeting ground between interdisciplinarity and performance, institution and anarchy, academy and street, brings together international luminaries such as the iconic Mexican American performance artist, Guillermo Gómez-Peña and Trevor Davies, director of the Metropolis Biennale, writer and artist Sue Williamson, curator Melissa Mboweni, award winning architect/visual artist Doung-Anwar Jahangeer, veteran archivist of performance and journalist, Adrienne Sichel and performance diva Mwenya Kabwe. Gómez-Peña will perform his biographical Multiple Journeys as Keynote Address.
Academics Virginia MacKenny and Sarah Nuttal amongst others come together with upstart artists Athi Patra Rugga, Mlu Zondi (Standard Bank Young Artist Award winner), Aja Marneweck and Mamela Nyamza. Investigating the act of recording the ephemeral moment of performance will be art commentators Sean O’Toole, Mary Corrigall and photographer, John Hodgkiss. Tanner Methvin of Africa Centre, (producer of Pan African Space Station, Spier Contemporary and Infecting the City) will speak on a panel ‘Soliciting and programming anarchy’ with festival and theatre directors and curators, Mboweni, Davies and Lara Foot Newton.
UCT Faculty, Mandla Mbothwe, Fritha Langerman, Jay Pather and Svea Josephy were all awarded GIPCA grants to develop interdisciplinary collaborations over the last year and they will contribute audio visual presentations of their work together with the collaborators that they worked who emerge from disciplines ranging from architecture to science.
Heading the investigations into inter-disciplinarity and curriculum will be Kathryn Smith (Visual Arts), Geoff Hyland (Theatre) and Gerard Samuel (Dance).
There will be performances by Gómez-Peña (the acclaimed solo performance, Strange Democracy), Mandla Mbothwe, Mamela Nyamza, Athi Patra Ruga, Siwela Sonke Dance Theatre, Robert Jeffery and exhibition walkabouts by Fritha Langerman, Svea Josephy; Jonah Sack Roger van Wyk (Dada South) and Sophie Perryer (Steven Cohen at Michael Stevenson Gallery).
For further information and registration details, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Ticket prices: R500 – includes all performances, teas and lunches. Limited seats will be available for observers only.