Acts of Transgression

Contemporary live art in South Africa
Author(s):
Editor(s): ,
Contributor(s): , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
  • Publication Date: February 2019
  • Dimensions and Pages: 244 x 170mm; 336pp, Full colour illustrations
  • Paperback EAN: 978-1-77614-279-8
  • eBook EAN: 9781776142811
  • PDF EAN: 9781776142804
  • Rights: World
  • Recommended Price (ZAR): 480.00
  • Recommended Price (USD): 50.00

In this ground-breaking collection of critical essays, 15 writers explore the experimental, interdisciplinary and radically transgressive field of contemporary live art in South Africa.

Set against a contemporary South African society that is chronologically ‘post’ apartheid, but one that continues to grapple with material redress, land redistribution and systemic racism, Acts of Transgression finds a representation of the complexity of this moment within the rich potential of a performative art form that transcends disciplinary boundaries and aesthetic conventions. The collection probes live art’s intersection with crisis and socio-political turbulence, shifting notions of identity and
belonging, embodied trauma and loss, questions of archive, memory and the troubling of colonial systems of knowing, an interrogation of narratives of the past and visions for the future.

These diverse essays, analysing the work of more than 25 contemporary South African artists and accompanied by a striking visual record of more than 50 photographs, represent the first major critical study of contemporary live art in South Africa; a study that is as timeous as it is imperative.

INTRODUCTION Jay Pather and Catherine Boulle

PART ONE: LIVE ART IN A TIME OF CRISIS
1 Artistic Citizenship, Anatopism and the Elusive Public: Live Art in the City of Cape Town NOMUSA MAKHUBU
2 Upsurge SARAH NUTTALL
3 ‘Madam, I Can See Your Penis’: Disruption and Dissonance in the Work of Steven Cohen CATHERINE BOULLE
4 The Impossibility of Curating Live Art JAY PATHER

PART TWO: LOSS, LANGUAGE AND EMBODIMENT
5 Corporeal HerStories: Navigating Meaning in Chuma Sopotela’s Inkukhu Ibeke Iqanda through the Artist’s Words LIEKETSO DEE MOHOTO-WA THALUKI
6 A Different Kind of Inhabitance: Invocation and the Politics of Mourning in Performance Work by Tracey Rose and Donna Kukama GABRIELLE GOLIATH
7 State of Emergency: Inkulumo-Mpendulwano (Dialogue) of Emergent Art When Ukukhuluma (Talking is Not Enough NONDUMISO LWAZI MSIMANGA
8 Space is the Place and Place is Time: Refiguring the Black Female Body as a Political Site in Performance SAME MDLULI

PART THREE: RETHINKING THE ARCHIVE, REINTERPRETING GESTURE
9 don’t get it twisted: queer performativity and the emptying out of gesture BETTINA MALCOMESS
10 Performing the Queer Archive: Strategies of Self-Styling on Instagram KATLEGO DISEMELO
11 Effigy in the Archive: Ritualising Performance and the Dead in Contemporary South African Live Art Practice ALAN PARKER

PART FOUR: SUPPRESSED HISTORIES AND SPECULATIVE FUTURES
12 To Heal a Nation: Performance and Memorialisation in the Zone of Nonbeing KHWEZI GULE
13 Astronautus Afrikanus: Performing African Futurism MWENYA B. KABWE
14 ‘Touched by an Angel’ (of History) in Athi-Patra Ruga’s The Future White Women of Azania ANDREW J. HENNLICH
15 Performance in Biopolitical Collectivism: A Study of Gugulective and iQhiya MASSA LEMU

About the Editors

Jay Pather is a choreographer, curator and academic. He is Director of the Institute
for Creative Arts at the University of Cape Town (UCT) and Associate Professor in
UCT’s Centre for Theatre, Dance and Performance Studies.

Catherine Boulle is a writer and researcher at the Institute for Creative Arts,
University of Cape Town where her work includes initiating new research on live art
in South Africa.

This collection of essays coheres around conceptual themes that link the instability, volatility,
precarity, and excess of live art itself to the instability, volatility, precarity, and excess of the
contemporary moment in South Africa.
— Catherine M. Cole, Professor of Drama, University of Washington.

The scope is impressive and the thematic clustering of chapters points to ‘trends’ in the ‘state
of the art’ … a very important contribution to the scholarship of live art in South Africa.
— Marie-Heleen Coetzee, Professor and Head of Department of Drama, University of Pretoria.

Related titles

Leave a Reply