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Doung Anwar Jahangeer, The Other Side with the Matebese Family (2012)

The Other Side with the Matebese Family (2012)

Doung Anwar Jahangeer produced this performance intervention for the Making Way exhibition curated by Ruth Simbao in 2012. Jahangeer painted the faces and hands of the Settler Family statue at the 1820 Settlers National Monument in Grahamstown during the National Arts Festival. Using natural clay, he sought to bring the figures down to earth, questioning the large pedestal that exalts the British Settler family. The statue was produced by Ivan Mitford-Barberton in 1969 and is visible to drivers along the N2 highway that passes Grahamstown. 

Photo: Ruth Simbao (Please do not use without copyright permission) 

Ivy Kulundu-Gotz, Everse (2014)

Everse (2014) 

Everse was a live installation produced by Ivy Kulundu-Gotz, Simone Heymans, Chiro Nott and Joseph Coetzee for the Blind Spot performance art programme curated by Ruth Simbao in 2014. 

Everse is an obsolete word meaning to subvert or overthrow. The live installation took the form of a site-situational, spatial walk-about at Victoria Primary School in Grahamstown that engaged with the blind spots of learning and their long-term repercussions. The audience was invited to engage with the complex and often contradictory memories of schooling, and extrapolated elements of the education system were highlighted, unhinged and subtly critiqued. 

Photo: Ruth Simbao (Please do not use without copyright permission) 

Athi-Patra Ruga, Performance Obscura (2012)

Performance Obscura (2012) 

Athi-Patra Ruga produced Performance Obscura in the vicinity of the Grahamstown camera obscura as well as The Future White Woman of Azania at the Provost jail for the Making Way exhibition curated by Ruth Simbao in 2012. 

Performance Obscura was conceptualised with Mikhael Subotzky, who was planning to photograph Ruga’s performance reflected on the plate of the 19th century camera obscura in Grahamstown. However, due to unforeseen circumstances, Subotzky was unable to be present and the performance took on an unexpected life of its own. While the “failure” of the planned performance might have frustrated some, Performance Obscura opens up the space to think meaningfully about “failure”. In what ways can we engage with concepts of “success” and “failure” when performances “go wrong”, when what we expected to see is not there to be seen, or when blanks or blind spots disappoint us? 

Photo: Ruth Simbao (Please do not use without copyright permission)  

Igshaan Adams, Bismillah (2014)


Bismillah was performed by Igshaan Adams and his father, Amien Adams, in a dark, dusty basement – the ‘underbelly’ of the 1820 Settlers National Monument that became a grave-like site. Following the Islamic ritual of preparing the body of a relative for burial, Amien Adams tenderly washed, dried, perfumed and wrapped the body before him. 

Photo: Ruth Simbao (Please do not use without copyright permission) 

Randolph Hartzenberg, Three Days (2012)

Three Days (2012)

Three Days was performed at Fort Selwyn in Grahamstown as part of the Making Way exhibition curated by Ruth Simbao in 2012. The performance references Iphigenia, foregrounding themes of sacrifice, betrayal and the vulnerable individual. Fragments of text attached to music stands are taken from a poem by the 20th Century Greek Poet Yannis Ritsos, who titled a collection of his long monologue poems, ‘The New Oresteia’. 

Extract of the text ‘The New Oresteia’ in the Three Days installation: 

“Already three days have passed since we’ve come home. The trip’s over. The adventure came to and end. So? – was that it? Was that all there was to it? You’re not smiling at all. Me neither. Certainly it’s not what we lack, what we’ve not found – besides, we didn't find anything. Maybe we’re the ones who’re missing. We’ve returned, we say, and we barely recognize where we’ve come from and what we’ve come to. We’re moving between two unknown points. Don’t hang your head. We’ll both leave. One won’t hold the other back. You’re already sitting on the edge of your chair. Our friend is gone, too. No sooner did we meet than we split up again. Oh, surely, someday or other what’s fated happens. We’ve been released into a new slavery – it doesn't abandon us, it sits and waits, it waits by the gate outside, by the dry grass, the nettles, the thistles and the fallen keys”. 

Photo: Ruth Simbao (Please do not use without copyright permission) 

The 2016 SARChI research team

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Back row (left to right): Jean-Sylvain Mukendi, Andrew Mulenga, Paul Cooper, Eben Lochner, Nancy Dantas, Tinika Nuen, Charmaine Mostert 

Front Row (left to right): Philiswa Lila, Gladys Kalichini, Natasha Bezuidenhout, Chemu Ng’ok, Nkule Mabaso, Ruth Simbao, Sikhumbuzo Makandula, Rachel Baasch, Buhle Siwendu, Courtney Scott, Thando Mama, Songezile Madikida. 

Bronwen Salton, installation at the Arts Lounge during the 2011 National Arts Festival.

Installation at the Arts Lounge (2011) 

The Arts Lounge was a performance and seminar programme run by the Visual and Performing Arts of Africa (ViPAA) research team at Rhodes University. Salton completed a MFA at Rhodes University in 2012 on ecology, sustainability, social engagement and the arts.  In 2011 Bronwen Salton and Thabisa Belwana created Masibambane, a crochet collective that works with recycled plastic as a medium and crochet as a practice.

Photo: Ruth Simbao (Please do not use without copyright permission) 

Last Modified: Tue, 08 Aug 2017 12:04:23 SAST