31 episodes

How do Live Artists see, think, listen, respond and create? The Institute for Creative Arts (ICA) at the University of Cape Town dives into this question via long-form interviews with South African artists and curators who perform or curate Live Art. Join us on site and in studio as we explore ground-breaking performances, public interventions and participatory installations – and the fascinating minds that bring them into being.

The ICA Podcast The Institute for Creative Arts (ICA)

    • Arts
    • 5.0 • 10 Ratings

How do Live Artists see, think, listen, respond and create? The Institute for Creative Arts (ICA) at the University of Cape Town dives into this question via long-form interviews with South African artists and curators who perform or curate Live Art. Join us on site and in studio as we explore ground-breaking performances, public interventions and participatory installations – and the fascinating minds that bring them into being.

    Season 4: Episode 6 - Mbongeni Mtshali

    Season 4: Episode 6 - Mbongeni Mtshali

    Welcome to Season 4 of the ICA podcast, where we interview African artists and curators who perform and curate live interdisciplinary works. 
    Our sixth and final episode of this season features an interview with Mbongeni Mtshali, performance artist, director and head of the Centre for Theatre Dance and Performance Studies at UCT. In the conversation Mtshali goes into great detail about his performances Skin Tight and in(S)kin and details his artistic decisions behind the creation of these works.  Mtshali also shares insights in his approach to language, through performance as well through teaching. He talks of languaging in the body, an embodied sense of space, time and subjectivity along with sharing his interests in kinetic and physical theatre
    Inspired by Denis Glover's poem The Magpies, Skin Tight tells the fraught, passionate and ultimately enchanting story of a New Zealand couple, Tom and Elizabeth and their lives together, a far jump from his  earlier work, in(S)kin, a physical theatre work based on Mtshali’s life. This nimble and robust director expands on this shift in focus, from making rather gentle and revealing work out of one’s own subjective experience, to characters from another country, background and milieu. He also takes us through the provocative and physically demanding physicality in Skin Tight as the two characters share an extreme passion on stage and the means he used to arrive at this.Mtshali speaks about the thread of memory in both of these works; his abiding interest in and deep exploration of physical theatre, the political undertones of his work as well as his love for public art and performance.
    Season 4 of the ICA Podcast comprises interviews conducted by Nkgopoleng Moloi and  produced by Atiyyah Khan.
    This is an initiative created by the Institute for Creative Arts which is based at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. Thank you for listening

    • 33 min
    Season 4 : Episode 5 - Aika Swai

    Season 4 : Episode 5 - Aika Swai

    Welcome to Season 4 of the ICA podcast, where we interview African artists and curators who perform and curate live interdisciplinary works. 
    Our fifth episode features an interview with Aika Swai about her performance lecture titled Uncharted Dialog, which she presented at the ICA Scholars showcase last year. In presenting this work she speaks about her approach to what she calls ‘languaging’ in her work and the value of African languages as inherent knowledge.Uncharted Dialog was based on Swai’s dissertation which is centered around an imaginary conversation between American Indian and African language artists and includes speculation of what would happen if the two groups found ways of speaking to each other. In the performance Swai slowly revealed the absence of what may seem like an obvious and potentially powerful conversation, foregrounding the pervasive, deleterious and sometimes invisible traces of ongoing coloniality. In the podcast she talks through her construction of this.
    Swai’s research interests extend to themes of translatability, translanguaging and cultural transliteration in African and Caribbean literatures, the communicability of highly subjective experiences (such as the ones tied to race and gender), and the tension between ‘magic’ and ‘real’ when reading African, Caribbean or American First Nations literature through the lens of magical realism.
    Season 4 of the ICA Podcast comprises interviews conducted by Nkgopoleng Moloi and  produced by Atiyyah Khan.
    This is an initiative created by the Institute for Creative Arts which is based at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. Thank you for listening.

    • 22 min
    Season 4: Episode 4 - Nelisiwe Xaba & Mocke Jansen Van Veuren

    Season 4: Episode 4 - Nelisiwe Xaba & Mocke Jansen Van Veuren

    Welcome to Season 4 of the ICA podcast, where we interview artists and curators who perform and curate live interdisciplinary works. 
    In our fourth episode of the season, artists Nelisiwe Xaba and Mocke Jansen Van Veuren speak about their work creating FAKE N.E.W.S, a multidisciplinary project integrating performance and digital art. The work explored misinformation, conspiracy theories and science denialism rampant on social media and traditional media platforms. The production pushed boundaries and provoked some heightened post performance conversations. The development of this iteration of the project was conducted through workshops with artists and students in Cape Town. 
    In the podcast, the always ironic and pointed Xaba, talks through the creation of this work with collaborator van Veuren. Both consider processes of conceptualizing the work and most importantly and productively around working with students on a work that is not predetermined, but developed through the collective participation and subjective experiences of all participants. The two artists talk through the pains and rewards of the process as it involves young artists and students.
    Season 4 of the ICA Podcast comprises interviews conducted by Nkgopoleng Moloi and  produced by Atiyyah Khan.
    This is an initiative created by the Institute for Creative Arts which is based at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. Thank you for listening.

    • 24 min
    Season 4: Episode 3 - Bernard Akoi-Jackson

    Season 4: Episode 3 - Bernard Akoi-Jackson

    Welcome to Season 4 of the ICA podcast, where we interview artists and curators who perform and curate live interdisciplinary works. 
    Our third episode features an interview with artist Bernard Akoi-Jackson who speaks about his site-specific work, DESTINATIONS - With Anthem for The Union (…and where, from birth, would they have berthed, should a dearth of destinations have prevailed?).
    During Ghana’s independence from Britain in 1957, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, the first President of the newly formed nation-state, declared that his country’s independence would mean nothing if it was not intrinsically linked with the struggle of all possible states within Africa that were yet to embark on their quests for freedom from colonial oppressors. Indeed, the winds of change blew throughout the continent and liberation became rife. Several bodies since have sought to keep these hopes alive and the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) has through many failures and challenges, morphed into the African Union (AU), also bedevilled with a variety of challenges. 
    In the performance DESTINATIONS … the public was encouraged to ponder on some of these concerns, whilst they moved slowly through the city, observing remnants and ruins of some of the past dreams of our mothers and fathers, with the hope that our futures would not become as bleak as our present.
    Navigating the nuances of this complex work in the podcast, Akoi-Jackson reflects on his theory of ‘disturbed methodologies’ - in one instance he created a whole new anthem with the help of the public, a wry critique of the African Union. This prolific and deeply engaging artist goes onto examine ritual, rites of passage and disruption through his method of performance.
    Season 4 of the ICA Podcast comprises interviews conducted by Nkgopoleng Moloi and  produced by Atiyyah Khan.
    This is an initiative created by the Institute for Creative Arts which is based at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. Thank you for listening.

    • 29 min
    Season 4: Episode 2 - Gabrielle Goliath

    Season 4: Episode 2 - Gabrielle Goliath

    Welcome to Season 4 of the ICA podcast, where we interview artists and curators who perform and curate live interdisciplinary works. 
    Our second episode features an interview with internationally renowned artist Gabrielle Goliath provides rare and compelling insight into the research and creation of her monumental and acclaimed work Elegy, which had one of its first iterations at the ICA Live Art Festival in 2017 . 
    Elegy is a long-term commemorative performance initiated by Goliath in 2015. Staged in various locations, each performance calls together a group of female vocal performers who collectively enact a ritual of mourning, sustaining a single haunting tone over the course of an hour.
    Responding to the physical, ontological and structural outworking(s) of rape-culture in South Africa, Elegy performances invoke the absent presence of individuals whose subjectivities have been fundamentally violated, and who are all too easily consigned to a generic, all-encompassing victimhood. Each performance commemorates a named, loved and missed woman or LGBTIQ+ individual subjected to fatal acts of gendered and sexualised violence. 
    Significant to the work is how loss becomes a site for community, and for empathetic encounters with and across difference. Refusing the symbolic violence through which traumatised black, brown, femme and queer bodies are routinely objectified, Elegy performances open an alternative, relational space, wherein mourning is presented as a social and politically productive work, not in the sense of healing or closure but as a necessary and sustained irresolution.
    Season 4 of the ICA Podcast comprise interviews conducted by Nkgopoleng Moloi and  produced by Atiyyah Khan.
    This is an initiative created by the Institute for Creative Arts which is based at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. Thank you for listening.

    • 27 min
    Season 4: Episode 1 - Kenza Berrada

    Season 4: Episode 1 - Kenza Berrada

    Welcome to Season 4 of the ICA podcast, where we interview artists and curators who perform and curate live interdisciplinary works. 
    Our first episode features multi-disciplinary artist Kenza Berrada about her work "Boujloud" (the man of skins) which was performed at the Live Art Network Africa Gathering at UCT’s Hiddingh Campus in February of 2023. 
    Artist Kenza Berrada speaks about her work 'Boujloud' Man of Skins which was performed at the Live Art Network Africa Gathering at the ICA in 2023. Berrada discovered theatre at the age of ten. More than twenty years later, she covers her body with sheepskins in her first work as a playwright.
    Boujloud in Darija is a character who is half man, half beast. In Morocco, he gives his name to the festival celebrated the day after Aid el Kebir (the sacrifice of the sheep) in the Rif and Atlas regions . 
    The work addresses the subject of abuse and incest, through the concrete questions that arise for those who decide to break the silence and speak out. Berrada questions; how do we make ourselves heard? Is there an appropriate time to share experiences of abuse, to be heard and listened to?
    Season 4 of the ICA Podcast comprise interviews conducted by Nkgopoleng Moloi and  produced by Atiyyah Khan.
    This is an initiative created by the Institute for Creative Arts which is based at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. Thank you for listening.

    • 27 min

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