Category: Performance Art

OLerato’ona Sesing in #ToyiToyi. Photo: CuePix/Niamh Walsh-Vorster

Choreographed by Kieron Jina, #ToyiToyi is a dramatic dance performance that raises serious questions about the politics of the Rainbow Nation. The work, presented by the University of Johannesburg, explores race relations, homosexuality, and rape culture in our country.

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Performance artist Gavin Krastin takes a moment to save a whale in On Seeing Red and Other Fantasies. Photo: CuePix/Pearla Berg

My frankest advice to anyone who is still clinging on to the hope of a smooth-running Festival after Gavin Krastin’s On Seeing Red and Other Fantasties is: “Fuck everything, pack your bags, and leave.” If you are one of the unfortunate souls that reside in Grahamstown, there are plenty of dodgy hide-out spots in PE. If you’re one of those people who would rather chain themselves to a Cecil John Rhodes statue, I give you my sincerest condolences.

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Angela Harkis and Ciko Sidzumo perform in ‘The Elder of Azania’ at the Thomas Pringla Hall, Monument, Grahamstown, on the 03 July 2015, at the 2015 National Arts Festival. ‘The Elder of Azania is a Performance Art piece, inspired from an Arcadian scene fom ‘Midi d’un Faun [1912], borrowing on the mythological gravitas of the fauns interaction with the Maidens. Photo: Cue Pix/Pearla Berg.

No tee, no shade honey but … all this talk about satire, apartheid and looking back at the state of South African art is making my head hurt. Lucky for all of us who are in a state of perpetual limbo, the drag mamas of the universe have consulted the Tinder for eggs and ferociously swiped right to find the sperm that would help birth a fresh heir in the form of versatile queen of Azania herself, Athi Patra Ruga.

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Handspring Puppet Company’s Joey the War Horse makes an appearance with puppeteer Samkelo Zihlangu at the Drostdy
Lawns in Grahamstown. Joey stars in the multi-award winning British National Theatre production of War Horse.
Photo: CuePix/Harold Gess

Joey the war horse has been amazing audiences with his haunting performance for years, and now South Africans will get to meet the larger-than-life puppet made of cane at this year’s Festival as part of a series of exhibits featuring Handspring Puppet Company’s fascinating creations.

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Joey the War Horse, a life-size puppet, stars in a public art exhibition held on Drostdy Lawns in Rhodes University.

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omnom

Performance artist Gavin Krastin discusses #omnomnom, his latest piece, in which the audience is invited to eat a variety of foods off Krastin’s naked body, engaging with the pervasive links between food and various aspects of culture.

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Gavin Krastin's #omnomnom, an anticipated performance art piece. Photo: Sarah Schäfer

Would you eat food off a naked body? Gavin Krastin’s #omnomnom plays into social media dynamics with its hashtag, but more by its grotesque sensationalism. Like Serbian-born performance artist Marina Abramovic, he manipulates the public to reveal themselves with base crudity.

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Chiro Nott gives her audience a phonetics lesson in "Everse". 
Photo: Michelle Avenant

“Everse”  is an engaging collection of performance art pieces drawing attention to blind spots within the education system.

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Everse at Glennie Hall, in Grahamstown, Eastern Cape, South Africa, July 07, 2014. Photo: Jane Berg

“Everse,” part of the performance art programme Blind Spot, takes its audience back to school. A schoolmarm dressed in Victorian costume divides the “boys” from the “girls,” marching the small audience from a classroom to the pool to the tennis courts at Victoria Primary School.

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Jenna Burchell with her art exhibition Homing at Rhodes School of Art. Photo: Jane Berg

Jenna Burchell, a native of Pretoria, creates interactive installations and is also a performance artist. Her soundscape exhibition, Homing, is making its debut at the Festival.

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