jozi art:lab presents Guard on Shift in Kliptown

picture-36We’ve been rooting for the potential of Kliptown for a while now and are delighted to see that inroads are being made into communicating around the disparity of the tourism developments and the local community that feels largely side-lined. Bravo jozi art:lab.

After its great success in October 2008 the interdisciplinary art installation Guard on Shift by Sue Pam – Grant and Xoli Norman will be staged again – this time at the Battery Center in Kliptown as an open-air performance. It will be part of Kliptown Art Project, founded and curated by the foundation jozi art:lab.

jozi art:lab is solely focused on curating thought-provoking work. We realised the challenge that the lack of resources poses on art consumption and hope that this showcase of Guard on Shift will bring theatre to people who hardly have the opportunity to indulge…” explains Indra Wussow, curator and founder of jozi art:lab.

Guard on Shift explores an all too familiar fixture in surburbia – the guard’s hut and the presence of the black guard who is posted there to guard the neighbourhood. He is somewhat a contradiction: he represents a superhero and protector yet at most times he is unarmed and ill – equipped to respond to any real danger – the funny this; people still trust and feel safe knowing he’s on shift.

The artist and director Sue Pam – Grant and music composer Xoli Norman investigate the tenuous and visceral areas that occupy these physical and mental territories. This allows for a scrutiny of our collective paranoia – a critical boundary between our physical fences and the space occupied inside the walls of our minds.

jozi art:lab anticipates an interesting response to this installation  considering that it will take place within the context of a community where some of its inhabitants leave their homes to protect other peoples’ homes in the suburbs.

This particular performance and its reception will inspire the interrogation of this phenomenon further through a documentary film and the project will be spearheaded by Indra Wussow and Wonderboy Peters.

Battery Center, Kliptown, Soweto Saturday, 28th March 2009 @ 6:30pm

Guard on Shift completely lacks self-indulgence – or even articulated (patronising) pity for these peripheral people. It’s a bare brutal portrayal of intransigent values that pepper and coddle us into a complacency of security. A lucid, wise piece that glosses the incompetence in the running of our country by pointing fingers within, not without.

Robyn Sassen – artslink

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