2nd Live Art Festival

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27 Aug ’14
7 Sep ’14
UCT Hiddingh Campus and City Hall
South Africa

Download the full Festival Programme

Book tickets

Description of works and artists’ biographies

NOTE: We regret to inform you that Donna Kukama’s work Museum of Non-Permanence due to take place on 7 September, has been cancelled.  We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

GIPCA is proud to present the 2nd Live Art Festival from 27 August to 7 September 2014.  Selected in 2012 by the Sunday Independent as one of its five top art events in the country, the Festival grows this year to feature thirty-nine works of innovation by artists that demonstrate an edge in performance art practice. Many works are either International or South African premieres.

Live Art brings together a range of artists from the fields of visual arts, dance, theatre, music, architecture and literature. Most works are collaborative and interdisciplinary, with artists from across South Africa as well as Switzerland, the United Kingdom, United States, Cameroon, Nigeria, Netherlands and Ghana. The Festival will take place in various spaces at UCT’s Hiddingh Campus, the Cape Town City Hall and several clubs in and around Green Point. Audiences will be able to move from one work to another, viewing up to five works per evening.

The works have been curated according six main themes, serving as points of departure. Framed encapsulates works about representation. Meta-theatrical, playful, rupturing layers of reality, this series includes work by the inaugural winner of the Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Performance Art, Anthea Moys, who will present a world premiere of The Impossible Auction at the City Hall, featuring the inimitable Gerard Bester. Co-founder of the iconic Glass Theatre, John Nankin, will also present a world premiere of Shakespeare’s Chair. Nicole Seiler from Switzerland uses heightened technology in her two South African premieres, and Amsterdam-based Ntando Cele presents the South African premiere of her hilarious, critically acclaimed Complicated Art for Dummies. Rosa Postlethwaite from the United Kingdom has created a work especially for the Anatomy Lecture Theatre, exploring site, memory and meta-narrative. Playing on Andy Warhol’s concept of 15 minutes of fame, Nadja Daehnke’s My Minutes inverts assumed roles and invites audiences into the spotlight. Michaelis Galleries present the Independent Curators International’s do it exhibition. Initiated by curator Hans Ulrich Obrist, the project comprises of a list of 250 instructions for artworks by artists like Marina Abramovic, John Baldessari and Dara Birnbaum, to be interpreted differently in each reiteration, acknowledging the particular time and space in which it is recreated.

a series about state, nation and nationhood, includes the South African premiere of In Case of Fire, Run for the Elevator by the multiple award-winning Boyzie Cekwana, and Mamela Nyamza’s acclaimed 19-Born-76-Rebels. Eduardo Cachuco’s premiere Flatland: A Method for the Experimental Production of Emotions, a lecture-performance that uses texts by Hendrik Verwoerd, forms a foil to the visceral dance performance by Thulani Chauke, Black Dog. The series is punctuated by the authoritative voices of Ghanaian artist Bernard Akoi-Jackson, and seasoned performance artist Julia Raynham who presents the premiere of Monsoon.


Sello Pesa’s acclaimed Limelight on Rites, that has travelled internationally, heads a series of works about the Body and Mortality. In this series, Mohau Modisakeng creates a new work Ukukhumula (“unclothing”), which refers to the final stage of the cleansing ceremony performed at the end of an extended period of mourning. The performance, featuring 13 performers, will be installed in the Mayor’s Chambers in the City Hall. Chuma Sopotela’s Inkukhu ibeke iqanda (“the chicken has laid its eggs”) and Tebogo Munyai’s searing look at mining provide idiosyncratic takes on the black body as a site of contestation and decomposition. From London, Brian Lobel explores the mortal, vulnerable body in a moving work around his own experience of cancer, while Annemi Conradie’s collaboration with John Wayne Stevens uses suspension, hanging the body from hooks pierced through the flesh, as a vehicle to explore the body’s limits. Providing a rousing and triumphant perspective on the human body, Andile Vellem, in Unmute, works with mixed ability performers in an unbridled, bold use of physicality and the deconstruction and reconstruction of wheelchairs to create images and narrative of startling beauty. Between Subject and Object, an exhibition curated by Penny Siopis, Kathryn Smith and Josephine Higgins, draws attention to the continuum between subject and object in the representation of death.

In a coup for the Festival, one of the African continent’s foremost practitioners of performance art, Jelili Atiku from Lagos, presents a new work Eleegba (Oginrinringinrin III), in a series entitled Abject Object. This series, which considers the use of the object as an extension of the body, includes the sculpture and puppetry of Jill Joubert in the poignant Apple Girl, while Alex Halligey animates found objects with human voices in Resound. In Eyes closed with piñata, the blindfolded Thalia Laric sets out to destroy a suspended, papier mâché buck-head to a contemporary reworking of Vaslav Nijinsky’s L’apres Midi d’une Faune.
Exploring diverse notions of Femininities, are mixed media works The Walk: South Africa, inspired by India’s Maya Krishna Rao, by Mothertongue Project director Sarah Matchett, writer Genna Gardini and performer Siphumeze Kundayi. Grahamstown-based Nomcebisi Moyikwa pushes contemporary dance language to extremes in the startling Caught, about two women caught in a half room with a single bulb as their only source of light. The Woman Who Walks on Knives is presented by UK-based Season Butler who, according to Dora Mortimer in a review of the SPILL Festival in London last year, “creates a cobweb-fine balance of danger and seduction and raises interesting questions about the nature of sacrifice in art”. Providing another perspective is Nigerian-American artist Wura-Natasha Ogunji, who presents a stirring site-specific endurance performance in collaboration with South African women, Can’t I just decide to fly? Completing the series will be Weaam Williams’ Ancestral Omega: The Medora, which explores the feminine narrative of the Cape Malayu people via the Medora, a traditional headdress. The work is multi-disciplinary, using performance, photography, video, graphic design, scripted narration and a Malay choir who will sing traditional Kaapse Nederlands wedding songs, accompanied by a Malay opera singer.

The Periphery as Threshold features Influences of a Closet Chant by Johannesburg-based Albert Khoza, which comes to the Festival straight after performances in Paris. The provocative Gavin Krastin’s Rough Musick explores archaic shaming rituals as a means to control and cohere. Adrienne Sichel wrote in The Star that the work embodies “elements of the mythical and the fantastical (which) intertwine with hard core reality, gender politics and textures of space and place.”  In the South African premiere of Quartier Sud, Cameroonian artist Christian Etongo considers the movement of the illegal immigrant from the centre of home to the periphery in foreign countries. Richard September and Dann-Jaques Mouton’s Category Syndrome explores status, stereotypes and reclassification. Here marginalised communities are evoked as points of threshold, notions of which are also probed in The Place We Ran From by The Uninvited Artists, around clothing and the sexed physical body. Rounding off this series, Cabaret Crawl will take audiences to various clubs in Green Point, featuring a combination of Cape Town and London-based performance, drag and cabaret artists, directed by Brian Lobel and Season Butler.

Finally we are proud to feature Donna Kukama, the second Standard Bank Young Artist Award Winner for Performance Art who will present the Museum of Non-Permanence (MuNPer). MuNPer takes the form of encounters, interactions, and public appearances that are intimate and mostly unannounced, with the intention of recognising aspects of our histories that are not necessarily foregrounded in popular historical narratives.

The 2nd Live Art Festival will take place from 27 August to 7 September 2014.  For more information, contact the GIPCA office on +27 21 480 7156.

Download the full Festival Programme

Live Art Festival Programm Launch audio recording available for download

View excerpts from the Live Art Festival:

Book tickets

Description of works and artists’ biographies

Images: John Nankin – Shakespeare’s Chair; Ntando Cele – Complicated Art for Dummies; Mohau Modisakeng – Inzilo; Wura Ogunji – Can’t I Just Decide to Fly? Christian Etongo – Quartier Sud

With thanks to the following institutions for their generous financial support: Office of the Vice Chancellor, University of Cape Town; British Council; Pro Helvetia, the Swiss Arts Council; Goethe-Institut Kamerun and Goethe-Institut Ghana.

With thanks to the City of Cape Town’s Arts and Culture Department for the use of the City Hall; the University of Cape Town’s Drama Department and Little Theatre Complex for use of venues on Hiddingh Campus; and Iziko Museums of South Africa for the use of the Iziko Amphitheatre.


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