Aesthetic Shifts in a Transforming City: Performative Acts and Gestures in the Urban Space of Johannesburg

Siegenthaler, Fiona. (2017) Aesthetic Shifts in a Transforming City: Performative Acts and Gestures in the Urban Space of Johannesburg. In: Cities in Flux: Metropolitan Spaces in South African Literary and Visual Texts. Zürich, pp. 73-99.

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In the last two decades, performance artists repeatedly employed the streets, parks, and neighbourhoods of inner city Johannesburg as their stage for performative acts and happenings, responding to, and engaging with, the democratisation of its urban space. The artists, however, act and interact differently in the urban space of Johannesburg and with its diverse audiences. This chapter presents three different types of performance practice that can be understood as examples in a continuum ranging from theatrical/spectacular to a sublime form that has much in common with mimicry. The argument builds on different performance pieces and performative gestures by Steven Cohen, Athi-Patra Ruga, Ismail Farouk, the Center for Historical Reenactments, Sello Pesa & Vaughn Sadie, and Senzeni Marasela and brings them in relation to spatial, social, and political aspects of public space in the city of Johannesburg.
Faculties and Departments:04 Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Departement Gesellschaftswissenschaften > Ehemalige Einheiten Gesellschaftswissenschaften > Visuelle und politische Ethnologie (Förster)
04 Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Fakultär assoziierte Institutionen > Zentrum für Afrikastudien Basel
UniBasel Contributors:Siegenthaler, Fiona
Item Type:Book Section, refereed
Book Section Subtype:Further Contribution in a Book
Series Name:Schweizerische Afrikastudien. Études africaines suisses
Issue Number:12
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Book item -- Festschrift in Honour of Professor em. Dr. Therese Steffen
Last Modified:23 Dec 2020 04:10
Deposited On:20 Nov 2017 15:45

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