At the Risk of Being Sincere: Participation and Delegation in South African Contemporary Live Art
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More than twenty years after the end of apartheid in South Africa, politics and society in general have become increasingly disenchanted with the rosy vision of the “Rainbow Nation” which marked the early years of its new democracy. Cultural production has become increasingly influenced by economic forces, in particular from European/Western markets. This, accompanied by an internal desire to find a coherent cultural voice, has led to an increase in attempts to present identity and artistic outputs as “authentic” products. “Authenticity”, “sincerity”, and “the real” are key themes of this chapter, which discusses three South African case studies of participatory and/or delegated performance art: Brett Bailey’s Exhibit A (2012), Gavin Krastin’s #omnomnom (2014), and Igshaan Adams’s Bismillah (2014).
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