In this ground-breaking collection of critical essays, 15 writers explore the experimental, interdisciplinary and radically transgressive field of contemporary live art in South Africa.
Set against a contemporary South African society that is chronologically ‘post’ apartheid, but one that continues to grapple with material redress, land redistribution and systemic racism, Acts of Transgression finds a representation of the complexity of this moment within the rich potential of a performative art form that transcends disciplinary boundaries and aesthetic conventions. The collection probes live art’s intersection with crisis and socio-political turbulence, shifting notions of identity and belonging, embodied trauma and loss, questions of archive, memory and the troubling of colonial systems of knowing, an interrogation of narratives of the past and visions for the future.
These diverse essays, analysing the work of more than 25 contemporary South African artists and accompanied by a striking visual record of more than 50 photographs, represent the first major critical study of contemporary live art in South Africa; a study that is as timeous as it is imperative.
This landmark publication is an illuminating and indispensable gathering of the most critical voices thinking today about the role of performance in the shaping of the self, identity, agency, community and nation.-Okwui Enwezor,former director of Haus der Kunst, Munich and artistic director of the 56th Venice Biennale
An essential and important book. Its strength lies in its embeddeness in themany cultures that make up South African society.-RoseLee Goldberg,author of Performance Now: Live Art for the 21st Century and Founding Director of Performa
Acts of Transgression seeks not to contain the complex worlds of some of South Africa’s most compelling live artists, but instead pulls us in with urgency and pause, and in so doing makes us alive to the power of the serious, playful, and radical acts of imagination that are both of and beyond this postapartheid apartheid.-Panashe Chigumadzi,author of These Bones Will Rise Again