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Infecting the City

The Gordon Institute of Performing and Creative Arts (GIPCA) partners with the Africa Centre in Infecting the (Mother) City with installations, performances, readings, film screenings and discussion sessions, from 11 – 16 March 2013.

In collaboration with several national and international partners, GIPCA presents a diverse range of works that embrace interdisciplinarity whilst engaging with public spaces in compelling ways. These emerge from the University of Cape Town’s Creative and Performing Arts departments, the culminating presentations of 2012-2013 Donald Gordon Creative Arts Fellows and Award Winners, as well as workshops and commissioned international pieces. GIPCA also partners with the Public Culture CityLab (African Centre for Cities, UCT) on Thinking the City, a series of talks and discussions seeking to strengthen thinking and practice at the intersection of culture and public space.

Mamela Nyamza  | Okuya Phantsi Kwempumlo
Iziko South African Museum Whale Well | 11 and 13 March | 18:30 (as part of Programme A)

Having recently returned from sold-out performances at the Ovalhouse in London, highly acclaimed choreographer and Donald Gordon Creative Arts Fellow, Mamela Nyamza, presents a startling dance performance Okuya Phantsi Kwempumlo (The Meal), for which she received a Standard Bank Ovation Award at the National Arts Festival 2012. Also featuring Dinah Eppel and Kirsty Ndawo, the work celebrates the creative capacity of young South Africans to subvert and transform instruments of oppression and denigration into expressions of ecstasy and beauty; and reflects on the relationship between women from different generations and races.

Cia Horácio Macuácua | Orobroy, Stop!
Church Square | 11 and 13 March | 21:30 (as part of Programme A)

Awarded the main Puma Creative Prize and the first prize in the Group Pieces category at danse l’Afrique danse in Bamako, 2010, Orobroy, Stopwas conceptualised under the creative direction of esteemed Mozambican choreographer, Horácio Macuácua. In an inventive intercultural reconstruction of Flamenco, deep emotions, notions of identity, gender and conflicting experiences are explored in a visceral manner in this provocative work. The work is presented with support from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).

Henrietta Rose-Innes | Green Lion
District 6 Museum Homecoming Centre | 12 and 14 March | 18:15 (as part of Programme B)
Award-winning author Henrietta Rose-Innes discusses her work, Green Lion, and reads a few short extracts. This novel, developed during her tenure as Donald Gordon Creative Arts Fellow, explores extinction and the meanings of animal/human encounters, with particular reference to the historical and contemporary Cape. Beginning at a zoo-like institution devoted to recreating an extinct Cape lion, the narrative traces the relationship between a lion-keeper and the rare and elusive animal in his care. There will be opportunity for discussion and questions from the audience after the readings.

Aeneas Wilder | Under Construction
District 6 Museum | Viewable throughout duration of Festival | 12 and 14 March | 19:30 (as part of Programme B)
The collaborative project, Under Construction, involves the meticulous construction and spectacular public destruction of a complex wooden structure in the District Six Museum to ask poignant questions around what it means to be a resident in the city.
Wilder is best known for creating large, complex structures using thousands of pieces of wood. The pieces are not affixed but self-supporting and balanced. After hours of precariously creating his work, he ceremonially kicks it, destroying it in seconds.  Resonating with the history of District Six, the work becomes about identity and architecture; about self-built monuments that create institutional identities, and how they are challenged; about how we read our bodies, relative to our environment: protected and sheltered, or humble and vulnerable.
After the collapse of the installation, lecturers and students from the UCT School of Architecture will turn the wood units into furniture for the District Six community and the Imizamo Yethu township in Hout Bay.  In this way, the project becomes a cycle of creation, loss, and re-creation.

Curator: Winnie Sze
Collaborators: University of Cape Town School of Architecture; Mike Louw and Kevin Fellingham

Mike Rossi and Ulrich Suesse | Trespassing Permitted
Church Square | 12 and 14 March | 20:00 (as part of Programme B)
In line with GIPCA’s interdisciplinary mandate, Trespassing Permitted engages with “off limit” zones within the performance space. The initiators of this work, Donald Gordon Creative Arts Award winners Mike Rossi and Ulrich Suesse, have created a crossover performance, featuring acclaimed musician Feya Faku on trumpet, and dancers Nicola Elliott, Alan Parker and Richard Antrobus.
The composition process was informed by exploring and experimenting with boundaries; by developing new musical sound and by collaborating in music and mixed media productions. Performers are not constrained by detailed notated scores; they are free to move, participate and improvise with their own contributions – Trespassing Permitted. Improvisation encroaches on composition, jazz invades western classical, African and European sound spectra are interpolated, dancers meddle in the creation of sound. The programme moves from individual performances to an increasingly participatory performance, with parallels being drawn to the reopening and re-activation of city spaces.

 

Michael MacGarry | As Above, So Below
ITC Festival Centre (6 Spin Street) | 12 and 14 March | 21:45 (as part of Programme B)
Michael MacGarry’s period film, As Above, So Below concerns a philosophical re-imaging of Darwin’s brief visit to the Cape of Good Hope. In 1836, following five years at sea around the world aboard The Beagle, British naturalist Charles Darwin visited the Cape of Good Hope. He was 27 years old at the time. The film, shot in black and white, questions what might have ensued had Darwin never left the Cape, had he in fact he died there (the result of a vain wager with his valet, and the in-compatibility of his egotism in the face of the infinite); killed by his own invention and ambition.
Presented as the culminating project of MacGarry’s Donald Gordon Creative Arts Fellowship, the work is foremost a philosophical play about entropy; the breakdown of rational, ordered systems in isolation.  It focuses on notions around 19th century industrial progress, the absurd, colonial taxonomy, the uncanny and the quixotic nature of humanity; all within the mode of narrative cinema.

Michaelis School of Fine Art | Platform_18_28
Cape Town Station | Viewable throughout duration of Festival | 13 and 15 March | 15:30 (as part of Programme D)
Curated by Nadja Daehnke around the themes of movement and transit, the Platform_18_28 exhibition at the Cape Town station includes paintings, sculptures and photographs produced by students from the Michaelis School of Fine Art; while the collaborative building project between Tokyo-based artist Aeneas Wilder, curator Winnie Sze and the UCT School of Architecture, Under Construction, seeks to ask poignant questions around what it means to be a resident in the City. Installed in the District 6 Museum, Wilder’s fragile work which involves meticulous construction and then a spectacular public destruction will have particular resonance within the space that it is installed.

The Cape Consort | Shades of Grey
Slave Church (Long Street) |  14 March 12:30 | 16 March 10:30 (as part of Programme E)
Old and new converge with the Cape Consort’s exploration of early vocal repertoire in Shades of Grey, a fractured audioscape of late medieval European and 19th-century colonial culture in historically informed interpretation. The work is the result of a Donald Gordon Creative Arts Award, awarded to musicologist Rebekka Sandmeier.
Manuscript 4.b.5 of the Grey Collection in the National Library of South Africa – an office book from diocese of Münster – contains the late medieval chants for the office of St Liudger. Late medieval chant is often seen as “impure” or “decadent” by plainchant scholars and not much is known about it, both in terms of scholarly research and performance. This dearth of knowledge gives the opportunity for experiments such as the use of isons and early improvised polyphony or composed polyphony. In this regard, Shades of Grey follows the tradition of historically informed performance.
In order to ground the music in space and time, it will be interspersed with music from the time of George Grey’s government, and substituted with readings from Grey’s writings on the collection and current views on his government.
The Cape Consort is comprised of Tessa Roos and Vasti Knoesen (alto), Nick de Jager and Lance Phillip (tenor), Charles Ainslie and Patrick Cordery (bass), and Erik Dippenaar (organ).

 

Punchdrunk and Arcola Theatre | The Uncommercial Traveller
MP3 players available from the ITC Festival Centre (6 Spin Street) from 08:30 – 13:00 | 13-16 March
The tours can be downloaded from this website from 13 March
Known in the UK for their innovative approaches to theatre and community engagement, Arcola Theatre and Punchdrunk’s The Uncommercial Traveller project involves a series of workshops with post-graduate students and theatre practitioners to devise and write reflective audio tours in locations in Cape Town by using Charles Dickens’s approach of seeking out forgotten places and uncovering hidden stories.  Collaborating with internationally recognised local artist, James Webb, on the sound design, these engaging audio tours will be made available to Festival audiences. The Uncommercial Traveller is supported by the British Council and to date has travelled to Karachi, Melbourne, Penang, Singapore and Portsmouth.
For full project information and audio downloads, please see http://www.gipca.uct.ac.za/project/the-uncommercial-traveller-international-workshops/

Thinking the City
ITC Festival Centre (6 Spin Street) | 12-15 March | 10:30 – 12:00
Presented in collaboration with the Public Culture CityLab, the four Thinking the City discussion sessions will contribute to the Infecting the City programme by unpacking a series of examples and contested territories related to cultural practice in the city. Themes will include: Public space, festivalisation and contested cultural expression; Design and the creative city: the creative city for whom?; Managing access: city bylaws and the regulation of culture; and What makes art ‘public’?: reflections on participation and practice in contemporary public culture in South Africa. 

These installations, performances, readings, film screenings and discussion sessions will take place at various Cape Town venues, and are presented by The Gordon Institute for Performing and Creative Arts, as part of the 2013 programme for the Infecting the City Public Arts Festival. For more information on the Festival, please visit www.infectingthecity.com.

Video recordings from Infecting the City:

Start: 11 Mar ’13

End: 16 Mar ’13

Cost: Free

Category: 

Venue: Various venues throughout the city

Phone: +27 21 480 7156