Saturday, September 6, 2014
Live Art Festival, Gordon Institute of Performing and Creative Arts
Cape Town, South Africa
Performers: Zipho Dayile, Valerie Geselev, Noszuko Madokwe, Busi Mtabane, Wura-Natasha Ogunji, Luyanda Peter, Kyla Phil, Robyn Pretorius, Lindy-Lee Prince, Linsey Samuels, Adrienne van Eeden
Photo: Khanyisile Mbongwa
Can't I just decide to fly?
A group of masked performers walked through the streets of Cape Town hauling water kegs from their ankles and wrists over the distance of two kilometers. This endurance performance expanded upon two previous performances entitled Will I still carry water when I am a dead woman? (Lagos, 2011 & 2013). These earlier works posed questions about the work of women and the redemptive possibilities of physical labor specifically in relationship to social justice and the politics of change.
As with much of my performance art, I am particularly interested in the role of women in these dialogues and in how the presence of women in public space is necessary for envisioning, imagining, and enacting new ways of being in the world. With Can't I just decide to fly? I asked a new set of questions: Can we develop philosophies for embodying both joy and justice through performance? What is the significance of enacting physical labor in the service of beauty and poetry [rather than as a demonstration of struggle and injustice]? What is the place of the body and the flesh [and the female body in particular] within this dialogue?
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