Panga Management would rather gnaw at PM’s own wrists then consciously subject PM’s self to performance art. Exaggerated body movement in contrived contexts makes PM experience bowel movements, not dissimilar to a bad curry after a heavy night out. Yup, performance art gives PM the runs- run- runaway. The reason for PM’s bodily/visceral response is that most performance art PM has seen is kuk, and kuk begets kuk.

In South Africa bad theatre on street corners often gets sold as performance art. Bad performance art looks like something acted by second year drama students. All contrived, self reverential, clumsy in its exaggeration, very- very serious in that delinquent angst kinda way and very- very empty, in that – content has alluded us, but that’s part of the concept kinda way. Throw in some flapping arms, and the occasional painted face, and abracadabra you have 90% of the performance art PM has ever had the horror of experiencing. Now some people like that kinda thing, but PM gives it a body swerve.

Why run the risk of getting the runs, that PM’s motto. Unfortunately by giving a whole side of the visual arts a body swerve, Panga Management might be missing out on some fantastic performance art. This does (though PM finds it hard to believe) exist. Infecting the City AKA Infection in the City is rather an apt name for a performance festival, being that Infection and performance art are things one tries to avoid. Regardless of the stupid though accurate name, Infecting the City is a rather fab idea. Its fab because you can pick and choose which performances you want to go and see and therefore minimise being exposed to anything that will annoy the kuk out of you, literally and figuratively.

Or if you fall upon a performance by accident, you can refrain from making eye contact and get the hell out of there pretty easy. So if you want to dip your toe in to the performance art arena Infection in the City gives you a few necessary emergency exit strategies. This is a lot more considerate than performance art at award ceremonies (PM just can’t). Now, after all that performance art hate-rant, PM has to admit that PM is really-really looking forward to one performance on the Infecting the City program. PM excited by a piece of performance art, who would have guessed! PM is 100% sure this performance will be excellent and hence feels no need to bring Imodium. Yup, the performance PM wants to see is Athi-Patra Ruga’s, Ilulwane. Yay! There are two dates and times for this performance check the Infection in the City schedule here

Detail of Athi-Patra Ruga’s Ilulwane. Image Credit here

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  1. mumble says:

    A new low in performance art was achieved last night at Mandela Rhodes Place, at what was supposed to be the opening of Erin Bosenberg’s and Ruth Levin-Vorster’s exhibitions. Instead of crowding into light and enlightenment, the crowd outside the locked and dark space watched janitors perform and re-perform and re-perform that old classic, “Nope, this still not the right bunch of keys” while being hucked by festival disorganisers to go instead to the performance art in the street.

    Eventually, the crowd drifted off in search of a drink, as one does. Way to go, Cape Town!

    • PM hears you Mumble, your experience was not an isolated incident. PM had to hold back PM’s wrath last night at Athi’s Performance (which was good), as the Infection in the City dis-organisers treated the audience with total disrespect (note number one: treating the audience like shit won’t develop an appreciation for performance). 100’s of people waited outside on the pavement for 30 plus minutes- experiencing the city in ways most people choose to avoid for very good reason, eventually clapping in annoyance, – until they were eventually squashed through the doors for the performance that started 20 minutes after that, and very long after it was scheduled to start. Then the ushers who have the look and intellect of soggy pasta proceed to shine their torches into everyone’s eyes (they were meant to be helping the audience find seats but spent most of the time blinding us) All the time the synchronised swimmers where floating in the pool looking like they were getting cramp- poor things. Now thank gward no one had a stroke of required medical attention cause the safety of the audience was certainly not considered, and the disorganisation would have lead to a total fuck up. And then the performance starts. It takes the first 10 minutes to burn of the frustration before one could get into the performance. (Note number two: Infection in the city’s disorganisation puts the performers at a disadvantage). To sum up, infection in the city is fab, like a piece of bread on the plate of a starving man is fab (beggars can’t be choosy), but it’s not a meal and it certainly should not boast about being cordon bleu. Hell, a boerie roll from Milnerton market has more class and shows more logistical prowess in its preparation. Africa Centre what are you doing? Is this going to be the same as Spier contemporary – you get a lot of flak to which your marketing team responds with visitor stats (people stare at car accidents to), and then the festival competition does not happen again. Africa Centre you organised this, you need to Listen and Hear and improve because you are shortly going to be doing more damage to audience development and all the rest than you are going to be doing any good.

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