Our Company Director to talk at the Out The Box Festival

Posted: March 12, 2010 in Festivals

Tink thinks It’s great when we can get involved in more than one aspect of the theatre process and at the Out The Box Fest we are getting just that.  Not only are we performing QUACK! 3 times but our Company Director has also been invited to speak as part of a panel on Wednesday 24 March between 9:40 and 10:15 on:

Innovating the Medium: The role of women in the development and creation of contemporary Visual Performance

‘What is important to remember is that at least three generations of South African performing and performance artists have created significant bodies of work (often with their own bodies) which have redefined arts forms. These artists have not only blurred boundaries between life and art; politics and social conscience but have also often detonated these boundaries. Rising from the dust of these artistic explosions and cultural implosions are anarchic iconographies informed by festering identities… Seriously adventurous South Africans continue to put themselves out there as magicians of metaphor and aesthetic warriors’ (Adrienne Sichel, 2007).

Looking towards 21st century contemporary performance strategies for the staging of the female body, contentious and innovative approaches to the representation of feminine experience, desire and identity by female artists, come to the fore. The conference at Out the Box in 2010 will be looking at the role of women in the development and creation of contemporary Visual Performance. The conference will explore the innovative work being generated by leading female artists in the field today. How do female Visual Performance artists bring the complexity of multiple levels of performance, content and experience into the realms of practical innovation and experimentation? Female artists in particular face many challenges in the creation and production of such work. An aspect that needs to be addressed is audience expectation and perception, firstly of women within that society, and secondly of women’s artistic production.  What challenges do female contemporary performance artists face with regard not only to the content and production of the artistic work itself, but also to the development of the work in relation to the public platform on which it is presented and to the audience reception, response, perception and inclusion in the work and platform?

Many of the artists speaking have used their work to transform the social, cultural and political space of feminine identity, by rethinking the artistic representation of femininity and the female body. This discussion also serves to investigate relevant absences, silences and exclusions in women’s representation.

The conference is the fourth in a series organised by UNIMA SA as part of the Out the Box Festival. In 2010 the conference also forms part of a doctoral enquiry at the University of Cape Town, conducted by Visual Theatre artist and academic Aja Marneweck, part of which considers the work and research of women in Puppetry and Visual Performance in South Africa today. As such the conference will be documented and archived through video and sound recording. Papers will also be incorporated into research archives for the PHD as well as UNIMA SA archives for the public. Relevant writing will also be sent to the International Institute for Puppetry in Charleville Meziere, a world leader in the archiving and documentation of Visual Performance around the globe.


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