It’s been a bumper month for arts and culture in Cape Town already, and this week Infecting the City 2015 is taking it up another notch.
A public arts festival, ITC takes socially engaged performance art out of theatres and galleries, and on to the city streets. Audiences are made up of those who’ve selected to follow the various programmes or routes, and those who’ve happened upon the work as they go about their day in the city.
Performances take place during the day and in the evening, and are usually structured in routes. This year, some of those routes have been organised around busy hubs in the city, and these spaces will be treated to all-day activations.
‘Art in public spaces affords us moments of dreamy enchantment. But it often offers doses of reality – both in content as well as all that comes with being so exposed and vulnerable to our ‘publics’, who are pulling in different directions,’ says Festival Curator Jay Pather.
‘An artwork inside a white cube gallery can be experimental and controversial, but ultimately enjoys a certain safety and controlled viewing. Out in public, works navigate scrutiny that is unparalleled and artists are made supremely vulnerable as audiences respond in ways that are unexpected, simply because there is no accounting for who will show up, no accounting for the range of publics. This is of course the lure and wonder of this form.’
The curatorial process was slightly different this year, with Pather overseeing a panel of new curators who have each put together a programme (or programmes) of work, grouping the performances loosely under an idea or theme.
‘Ways of Belonging’, curated by Nadia Daehnke and her assistant Ryno Keet, explores the tensions between anonymity and belonging in the context of a city.
Mandla Mbothwe and his curatorial intern Mandisi Sindo chose the theme ‘Crossing Over and Round About’, which looks at their group of works through the lens of an ongoing interaction between people and architecture, exploring how humanity shapes and gives meaning to public spaces.
Farzanah Badsha’s programme, ‘What We Deserve’, tells multiple stories about how we define and use public space and asks what legacy we are leaving behind to mark our passage and our contributions.
Where Various point around the CBD
When Monday 9 March to Saturday 14 March, at various times (download the full Infecting the City programme here)
Contact +27 21 418 3336, [email protected], infectingthecity.com