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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

iDANS 05: 'At Work'

(Photograph by John Hogg: “Inhabitant”, presented in partnership with the Goethe Institute, 2011 Dance Umbrella, Johannesburg, and Ntsoana Contemporary Dance Theatre)

Sello Pesa and Vaughn Sadie and William Kentridge at Istanbul International Contemporary Dance and Performance Festival.

Organized and presented by Bimeras Cultural Foundation each year around a curatorial theme, the conceptual framework of the 2011 edition of iDANS is At Work. The programme will feature discussions, staged performances, public space interventions and workshops as well as informal meetings in order to interrogate, to what extent each step in realizing a contemporary performing arts work can be considered as 'work'; how the notion of 'immaterial labour' as the predominant mode of production in current economies is reflected in the conception, implementation and organization of artistic processes; and how artistic labour contributes to and transforms creativity-centred economic and symbolic production.

“In contemporary 'creative capitalism', we see the emergence of a new type of worker,” explains iDANS. “Similar to a dancer, the 'new worker' is expected to be endowed with mental mobility, agility, adaptability, flexibility, and playfulness and should continuously be engaged in the production, circulation, and distribution of images, ideas, affects, codes, sensations and gestures. How does contemporary art work? What works? What kind of a 'job' is art? Can we consider the new worker as an artist and the artist as a worker? Has the incitement to creativity become an instrument of exploitation in the contemporary organization of production in general? What are the potential roles that remain for creativity for the development of human agency and emancipation?

William Kentridge will present I am not me, the horse is not mine. Meanwhile, South African choreographer and dancer Sello Pesa and conceptual artist and light designer Vaughn Sadie have been commissioned to develop an Istanbul version of their work Inhabitant. German artist Mirko Winkel will accompany them in the research phase in Istanbul. The Festival runs from September 30 to October 28.

Vaughn Sadie lived and worked in Durban as an artist for over 11 years until recently. He is a Masters graduate from DUT and collaborated with Neil Coppen on the Dundee Living within History project earlier this year. He also designed the audiovisual for Abnormal Loads, Neil Coppen’s production which was brought about by his winning the 2010 Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Drama. Abnormal Loads was recently seen at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown and the Witness Hilton Arts Festival where the production, and particularly Vaughn Sadie’s work, was highly acclaimed.

The Critical Endeavor performing arts writing and journalism workshop, part of iDANS, honoured Sello Pesa and Vaughn Sadie's Inhabitant as its choice for the iDans Critical Endeavor award representing the best performance of this year's festival.