Premiering at GIPCA's Live Art Festival

15 August 2014 | Story by Newsroom
KWuru-Natasha's <i>Can't I just decide to fly?</i> is a public endurance performance, in which a group of masked women haul water kegs through the streets of Cape Town, exploring the relationship between physical labour, beauty and social change.</i>
KWuru-Natasha's Can't I just decide to fly? is a public endurance performance, in which a group of masked women haul water kegs through the streets of Cape Town, exploring the relationship between physical labour, beauty and social change.

Thirty-nine innovative works by local and international artists will feature at the 2nd Live Art Festival. Many of these artists '“ from the fields of visual arts, dance, theatre, music, architecture and literature '“ will present South African or world premieres.

One of the African continent's foremost practitioners of performance art, Nigerian multimedia artist Jelili Atiku, presents a new work Eleegba (Oginrinringinrin III), and award-winning choreographer Boyzie Cekwana presents the South African premiere of In Case of Fire, Run for the Elevator. In Case of Fire comes to the festival from its world premiere at the highly respected experimental dance space, Fabric Potsdam in Berlin.

London-based performer Brian Lobel, who will come straight from the Edinburgh International Festival, presents BALL & Other Funny Stories About Cancer '“ a stirring, humorous reflection on the vulnerabilities of the body, his own history of cancer and the patient experience. Also from London, Season Butler puts a reverse twist on a familiar Hans Christian Anderson tale in The Woman Who Walks on Knives, which premiered at the SPILL Festival of Performance at the Barbican last year. Lobel and Butler team up with local performers in the Cabaret Crawl, a progressive night of levity, dancing and art in a raucous and ironic search for performativity outside central theatrical spaces, in the drag and cabaret clubs and bars of Cape Town.

Swiss choreographer Nicole Seiler uses technology and dance in her two South African premieres Shiverand Un acte sérieux (A Serious Act), while Amsterdam-based Ntando Cele's Complicated Art for Dummies uses burlesque comedy to comment on issues of power and prejudice in the manufacture of African art markets for Europe. Flatland, a new work by architect Eduardo Cachuco, who is currently based in Brussels, is a performance using an experiment carried out by Hendrik Verwoerd in the 1930s as point of departure.

Illegal immigration is at the core of the South African premiere of Cameroonian artist Christian Etongo's Quartier Sud, while Nigerian-American artist Wura-Natasha Ogunji considers the relationship between physical labour, beauty and social change in site-specific endurance performance, Can't I just decide to fly? Ghanaian artist Bernard Akoi-Jackson tackles belonging, self determination and the redoubtable notions of the African renaissance in a participatory mixed-media event, and seasoned South African performance artist Julia Raynham's new work Monsoon tracks trade, mobility, relationships and the arrival of love in Southern East Africa.

Inaugural Standard Bank Young Artist Award Winner for Performance Art, Anthea Moys, presents the world premiere of The Impossible Auction '“ an interactive, irreverent and highly entertaining Dadaist theatre piece featuring the inimitable Gerard Bester as auctioneer. Veteran performance artist and co-founder of the iconic Glass Theatre, John Nankin's Shakespeare's Chair is another premiere, developed especially for the festival at Nankin's Zink studio venue on a decommissioned inner-city army base. Winner of the Sasol New Signatures Award in 2011, Mohau Modisakeng, also creates a new work Ukukhumula ("unclothing") for the Festival '“ a collective meditation on ideas explored in his acclaimed work, Inzilo.

Launched at the National Arts Festival in July, second Standard Bank Young Artist Award Winner for Performance Art, Donna Kukama's Museum of Non-Permanence comprises several intimate, one-on-one encounters and interactions with the intention of recognising aspects of our histories that are not necessarily foregrounded in popular historical narratives. The Cape Town premiere of Johannesburg-based Sello Pesa's site-specific Limelight on Rites, which has been presented at Pole Sud in Strasbourg and Danse L'Afrique Danse in Soweto, critiques the commodification of burial rituals, while Thulani Chauke's Black Dog touches upon themes of moral degradation, using animal behaviour as a metaphor. Johannesburg-based Albert Khoza's Influences of a Closet also premieres in Cape Town shortly after performances in Paris.

Other local premieres include Grahamstown-based choreographer Nomcebisi Moyikwa's Caught, Annemi Conradie's collaboration with suspension artists John Wayne Stevens and Svend Jensen, and Tebogo Munyai's searing look at the mining industry, Doors of Gold.

As part of the festival, Michaelis Galleries will also be host the Independent Curators International's do it exhibition, the widest-reaching and longest-running international 'exhibition in progress'. Initiated by curator Hans Ulrich Obrist, the project comprises a list of 250 instructions for works by artists like Marina Abramovic, John Baldessari and Dara Birnbaum, to be interpreted differently in each iteration, acknowledging the particular time and space in which it is recreated.

GIPCA's Live Art Festival

27 August to 7 September 2014
See the full festival programme
Daily and season tickets available at

For more information, please contact GIPCA at 021 480 7156 or visit

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