Home > restless exuberance! a public art symposium & performances
restless exuberance! a public art symposium & performances
23 Nov 2021 - 19:30
The Institute for Creative Arts presents restless exuberance!, an event featuring a public art symposium alongside live performances. The title restless exuberance! is derived from the title of the ICA’s forthcoming publication Restless Infections: Public Art in South Africa which explores the Infecting the City (ITC) public art festival – the largest and longest running public art festival in the country – as well as works that have challenged or transformed city spaces in South Africa within and beyond this festival. Each of the 13 contributors to the book will present their research and engage with audiences about their work.
restless exuberance! is concerned not only with ‘public art’ in its strict definition, but more broadly with performative encounters in the public sphere, and public art as an ongoing process of enquiry into what constitutes meaning-making in the public sphere. The symposium (and the book) is forward-looking – moving beyond an investigation of infection and dis-ease to think through possibilities for healing, recuperation and renewal of public, and public spaces, in the time of COVID-19 and beyond.
The programme features nationally and internationally acclaimed artists, prominent curators and academics and comprises four panels over Friday afternoon and Saturday morning. Jay Pather, Mpho Matsipa, and Sikhumbuzo Makandula kick off the symposium in a panel titled nationhood and restless exuberance. Audience engagement and publics features Mbongeni Mtshali, Vaughn Sadie, Rike Sitas and Leila Anderson, while Khanyisile Mbongwa, Sarah Nuttall and Catherine Boulle consider building, renewal and memory. The final panel land, home and belonging comprises Meghna Singh, Sinazo Chiya and Ismail Farouk & Nicole Sarmiento. Each panel will be followed by a Q&A with the audience.
Photo credits, left to right: Nkosenathi Koela by Mzwanele Tshishonga; Future for the Past by Rien de Jager; Adorabilis by Fabien Andres Cambero
As with all ICA events, these conference-style presentations are interspersed with Live Performance. While the performances have been limited due to pandemic challenges, three compelling productions punctuate restless exuberance! foregrounding ritual, ceremony and states of illumination and exuberance, in intimate and public spaces.
The internationally acclaimed contemporary dance company Jonas & Lander from Lisbon will present Adorabilis which ‘creates a ceremonial space filled by bodies in a state of emergency, and acts as a fictional machine housing three presences exposed and victimised by invisible tensions’. Amathetha Ntungu – Ihlombe by acclaimed South African artist and academic Nkosenathi Koela illustrates the cultural distinction between a ritual and a gathering through the indigenous concept of ihlombe versus intlombe.
Finally, the visually compelling Future for the Past by Dutch company Sites of Memory takes the audience on a poetic, ceremonial journey through the city, from the Slave Lodge, to Church Square and ending in the Company's Garden. This journey back in time to the shared colonial past between the Netherlands and South Africa is an international collaboration amongst visual and performing artists from both countries.
Whilst the symposium and all performances are free of charge, access is limited.