Infecting the City, Cape Town, South Africa 09 Mar 2015 - 14 Mar 2015
PHOTO CREDIT: Sydelle Willow Smith
Cape Town’s annual festival of public art Infecting the City, will be back from 9-14 March 2015.
The Festival strives to bring exceptional, socially-engaged performance and visual art out of theatres and galleries and into the communal spaces of Cape Town’s Central Business District – transforming the city centre into an outdoor venue, where art is free and accessible to everyone.
The festival is comprised of artworks derived from a multitude of disciplines that include dance, poetry, music, performance and visual art. Collectively the body of work seeks to uncover and explore the underlying experience of the human condition. All the performances take place in the city centre and are free to the public. For 2015, the festival expects to build on last year’s success where 419 artists and over 32,000 audience members were in attendance.
The 8th edition of the Festival sees a new curatorial format with a team of curators presenting a programme of works each. Each group on the programme is loosely clustered around an idea or theme. The curatorial team members, Farzanah Badsha, Nadja Daehnke, Mandla Mbothwe and curatorial intern Mandisi Sindo , were chosen for their different backgrounds and disciplines and have diverse ideas about how art functions in public space – and around how audiences interact with public art. Festival Curator Jay Pather also returns this year to oversee the process.
In a series of works grouped under the idea, “Ways of Belonging”; curator Nadia Daehnke and curatorial assistant Ryno Keet explore the tensions between anonymity and belonging in the context of a city.
Mandla Mbothwe, and curatorial intern Mandisi Sindo’s, theme is “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.
The launch of the Infecting the City will take place on 9 March at 18:00 inside the Groote Kerk on 43 Adderley Street.
The Festival will be accompanied by a SYMPOSIUM from 8th – 14th March. Presented by the Gordon Institute for Performing and Creative Arts (GIPCA), Remaking Place brings together international and local speakers on issues around public art, with a focus on innovative practice. Each day will open with a 30-minute audio-visual presentation of the work of finalists in the prestigious International Award for Public Art by members of the jury for the Award. This will be followed by Panels based on the following sub-themes:
Day 1: Promotion and generation of Public Art: Innovative practice from the formal to the anarchic.
Day 2: Innovation and Diverse Publics 1: Women, Youth and Public Art
Day 3: Innovation and Diverse Publics 2: Race, Class and Public Art
Day 4: Principles of Innovation and Audience Participation and Engagement
The Symposium opens with Keynote Addresses by Gabi Ngcobo from the WITS School of Arts; Lewis Biggs, Chair of the International Institute of Public Art; and Wang Dawei, Dean of Fine Art, Shanghai University.