The University of Cape Town's Gordon Institute for Performing and Creative Arts (GIPCA) presents the inaugural Live Art Festival from 30 November to 4 December. Subtitled "Make-up your Mind", the event features more than two dozen emerging as well as established artists from a wide range of fields and aims to be a space for exploring contemporary art.
A range of local and international artists will premiere new work in interesting spaces around the city. (Venues for the festival include Cape Town City Hall, UCT's Hiddingh Campus, roadside pavements, a farm, and an empty swimming pool.) The festival also launches Post-Apartheid Dance, a collection of essays edited by Sharon Friedman featuring writing from academics including Xolani Rani and veteran arts journalist Adrienne Sichel.
Bewilderment about contemporary art
"But is this art?" is something many might ask, given that the work presented is transgressive in both content and form. "Conflicting ideas about how we perceive, and not just what we perceive, have all contributed to a healthy and robust bewilderment about contemporary art, particularly that emerging from South Africa," said GIPCA director Jay Pather. "Translate that into performance or live art and the risks are greater, the innovation sharper, the boundaries barely discernible, and the befuddlement bordering on vertigo. Now, more than ever before, the point of view of the individual spectator is most important in his encounter with fresh work that sits on an edge."
I guess that means the only way to answer the question of whether this is art is to discover for yourself!
GIPCA's Live Art Festival takes place in various venues around Cape Town from 30 November to 4 December. (A full schedule is available as a PDF download.) Performances will only be staged once and viewing room is very limited, so members of the public are urged to book early. Tickets, which grant entrance to between three and seven works, cost only R70 for adults and are available from Webtickets. For more information, go to www.gipca.uct.ac.za.
Eugene Yiga is lifestyle writer and arts journalist in Cape Town. He writes about travel, leisure, food, wine, marketing, media, TV, film, music, theatre, books, and more for over 30 different websites, newspapers, and magazines.
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