Advertisement

At the Risk of Being Sincere: Participation and Delegation in South African Contemporary Live Art

  • Rat WesternEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

More than twenty years after the end of apartheid in South Africa, politics and society in general have become increasingly disenchanted with the rosy vision of the “Rainbow Nation” which marked the early years of its new democracy. Cultural production has become increasingly influenced by economic forces, in particular from European/Western markets. This, accompanied by an internal desire to find a coherent cultural voice, has led to an increase in attempts to present identity and artistic outputs as “authentic” products. “Authenticity”, “sincerity”, and “the real” are key themes of this chapter, which discusses three South African case studies of participatory and/or delegated performance art: Brett Bailey’s Exhibit A (2012), Gavin Krastin’s #omnomnom (2014), and Igshaan Adams’s Bismillah (2014).

References

  1. Adams, Igshaan. 2015. Interview with Rat Western, 2 April.Google Scholar
  2. ArtSMART. 2014. National Arts Festival Performance Art Press Release. http://www.news.artsmart.co.za/2014/06/naf-performance-art.html. Accessed 23 June 2015.
  3. Atkinson, Brenda. 1999. Introduction. In Grey Areas: Representation, Identity, and Politics in Contemporary South African Art, ed. Brenda Atkinson, and Candace Breitz. Johannesburg: Chalkham Hill Press.Google Scholar
  4. Ayers, Robert. 2010. ‘The Knife is Real, the Blood is Real, and the Emotions are Real.’—Robert Ayers in conversation with Marina Abramović. http://www.askyfilledwithshootingstars.com/wordpress/?p=1197. Accessed 23 June 2015.
  5. Bailey, Brett. 2014. Yes, Exhibit B is Challenging—But I Never Sought to Alienate or Offend. The Guardian Online. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/sep/24/exhibit-b-challenging-work-never-sought-alienate-offend-brett-bailey. Accessed 23 June 2015.
  6. Benjamin, Walter. 2008. The Work of Art in the Age of Its Technological Reproducibility, and Other Writings on Media, ed. Michael W. Jennings et al. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  7. Bishop, C. 2006. The Social Turn: Collaboration and Its Discontents. ARTFORUM (February 2006), 179–185. New York: Artforum.Google Scholar
  8. Bishop, Claire. 2012. Artificial Hells: Participatory Art and the Politics of Spectatorship. London and New York: Verso Books.Google Scholar
  9. Blank Projects. Igshaan Adams: CV | Bio. BlankProjects.com. http://www.blankprojects.com/cv-and-bio/igshaan-adams. Accessed 23 June 2015.
  10. Butcher, Clare. 2013. Special Event—Igshaan Adams and Clare Butcher (part II). Vimeo. http://www.vimeo.com/65713486. Accessed 20 Apr 2015.
  11. Corrigall, Mary. 2014. The Virtual Exhibit. Incorrigible Corrigall Blogspot. http://www.corrigall.blogspot.com/2014/10/the-virtual-exhibit.html. Accessed 23 June 2015.
  12. De Swardt, Moira. 2014. A Talked About Piece #Omnomnom. Looking at Arts, Culture and Entertainment in Gauteng. http://www.artscomments.wordpress.com/2014/07/13/a-talked-about-piece-omnomnom/. Accessed 23 June 2015.
  13. Gaiman, Neil. 2001. American Gods. New York: HarperCollins.Google Scholar
  14. Guardian. 2014. Exhibit B: is the ‘human zoo’ Racist? The Performers Respond. The Guardian Online. http://www.theguardian.com/culture/2014/sep/05/exhibit-b-is-the-human-zoo-racist-the-performers-respond. Accessed 23 June 2015.
  15. Handler, Richard. 1986. Authenticity. Anthropology Today 2 (1): 2–4.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Harari, Dror. 2009. Risk in Performance: Facing the Future. Theatre Research International 34 (2): 173–179.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Jamal, Ashraf. 2005. Predicaments of Culture in South Africa. Pretoria: University of South Africa Press.Google Scholar
  18. Kinsman, Houghton. 2014. Tracing Emerging Artistic Practice in South Africa. Another Africa. http://www.anotherafrica.net/art-culture/tracing-emerging-artistic-practice-in-south-african. Accessed 23 June 2015.
  19. Krastin, Gavin. 2014. Press Release #Omnomnom. GavinKrastin.com. http://www.gavinkrastin.com/2014/08/omnomnom-2014.html. Accessed 23 June 2015.
  20. Minaar, Melvin. 2014. KunswerkOorDoodKeer Die Blik Inwaarts. Die Burger Wes-Kaap. http://www.netwerk24.com/vermaak/2014-08-23-kunswerk-oor-dood-keer-die-blik-inwaarts?redirect_from=dieburger. Accessed 23 June 2015.
  21. Morton, Shafiq. 2013. Interview About the Three Abdullahs Exhibition with Justin Davy (Curator), Weaam Williams (Filmmaker), Igshaan Adams (Artist) and Haroon Gunn-Salie (Artist). Voice of the Cape Radio Station. http://www.3abdullahs.tumblr.com/post/117515291260/a-voice-of-the-cape-radio-station-interview-about. Accessed 23 June 2015.
  22. Ndebele, Njabulo. 1986. “Redefining Relevance” in Rediscovery of the Ordinary. 2006. UKZN Press. pp. 55–72. This speech was originally delivered at a Writer’s conference in Sweden in 1986.Google Scholar
  23. Ndebele, Njabulo. 2012. Love and Politics: Sister Quinlan and the Future We Have Desired. http://www.njabulondebele.co.za/blog/entry/love_and_politics_sister_quinlan_and_the_future_we_have_desired/. Accessed 23 June 2015.
  24. O’Toole, Sean. 2015. Igshaan Adams: BLANK PROJECTS. ArtForum.com. http://www.artforum.com/index.php?pn=picks&id=50094&view=print. Accessed 23 June 2015.
  25. Owens, Craig. 1994. Beyond Recognition: Representation, Power, and Culture. Oakland, CA: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  26. Rosenmeyer, Aoife. 2010. Curator’s Statement. Ueli Alder, David Raymond Conroy, Lilly McElroy, Cecile Weibel. http://www.dienstgebaeude.ch/13b_Rosenmeyer_text.pdf. Accessed 23 June 2015.
  27. Simbao, Ruth. 2015. Email to Rat Western, 6 May.Google Scholar
  28. Seddon, Deborah. 2012. As if Things Weren’t Hot Enough. Art South Africa 11 (1): 44–45.Google Scholar
  29. Stoller, Paul. 1989. The Taste of Ethnographic Things: The Senses in Anthropology. Philadelphia, PA: Penn Press.Google Scholar
  30. Subramany, Deshnee. 2011. ANCWL Unimpressed with Kunene’s Sushi Bash. Mail and Guardian. http://www.mg.co.za/article/2011-02-02-ancwl-unimpressed-with-kunenes-sushi-bash. Accessed 23 June 2015.
  31. Taylor, John P. 2001. Authenticity and Sincerity in Tourism. Annals of Tourism Research 28 (1): 7–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Trilling, Lionel. 1972. Sincerity and Authenticity. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  33. Watts, Richard. 2015. Disturbing, Not Pleasing, Should be Art’s Role. Performing Arts Hub. http://www.performing.artshub.com.au/news-article/news/performing-arts/richard-watts/disturbing-not-pleasing-should-be-arts-role-246981. Accessed 23 June 2015.
  34. White, Gareth. 2013. Audience Participation in Theatre: Aesthetics of the Invitation. London: Palgrave.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Rhodes UniversityGrahamstownSouth Africa

Personalised recommendations