Over the course of December we'll be sharing excerpts and links to Season 4's performances which took place in October.
Curated by writer, academic, and playwright Jane Taylor, Season 4 of The Centre for the Less Good Idea takes the shape of a Collapsed Conference – a series of talks, presentations and ideas all told through performance.
VI DIE WAT WIL WIET | ILZE WOLFF
Research can be a means of uncovering, celebrating, or even rectifying moments in history. And storytelling, across various mediums, can be used to help us better understand the world around us, and our places in it. Ilze Wolff’s Vi Die Wat Wil Wiet is a skilful and engaging performance that merges rigorous research with captivating storytelling to brilliant ends.
Performed as part of The Centre for the Less Good Idea’s 4th Season, Vi Die Wat Wil Wiet is a multifaceted piece that sees the merging of academic, performative, written, and visual work. Through these mediums, Wolff takes her audience through a series of small, forgotten, or overlooked moments in South Africa’s history that range from the sad, the humorous, the obscure, and the inspirational.
Tales of the world’s first human cannonball who operated a successful circus in Maboneng (then City and Suburban), factory owners hellbent on fast-tracking their workers’ down-time through an automated tea-wheel, and imperial (and wildly mis-informed) research on Vaal-river-dwelling elephants and their ‘superior’ cousins in Nebraska are just a few of the stories explored and picked apart by Wolff.
This is done partly through a lecture by Wolff, as well as through projected imagery, performed readings of Wolff’s own correspondence with various friends and fellow researchers, and shrewd soundscapes by Cara Stacey. Donke Veby, a pumflet created by Wolff to accompany the performance features much of this imagery and correspondence, particularly with Joburg-based researcher Amie Soudien.
Throughout the course of the performance, several key themes that run throughout Season 4 are touched on. These include the academic vs the performed, the line between the human and the animal, and the idea of human vs machine. Wolff’s primary focus and area of specialisation, though, lies in her passion for revisiting (or perhaps revisioning) the small, definitive moments in history, told through the built environment. “How do we document the emotional landscape of a place?” asks Wolff in her performance. “The overlooked stories, and the lesser-told stories of the people who form part of this built environment?”
Ultimately, one of the things that Vi Die Wat Wil Wiet does best is to show us what can happen to an academic lecture when it commits itself to the mediums of art and performance. Research can manifest in the simple act of communication, history can find meaning in fragmented collage, and performance can be a part of the every day.
For the full version go to | https://vimeo.com/300943647
Performer | Ilze Wolff
Associate Institutions | Wolff Architects and UWC Centre for Humanities Research
Composer | Cara Stacey
Animateur for The Centre | Bronwyn Lace
Cinematography and Editor | Noah Cohen
Project Manager | Shruthi Nair
Lights | Wesley France and Guy Nelson
Sound | SoulFire Studios and Zain Vally
Stage Management | Hayleigh Evans and PopArt Productions
Writer | Dave Mann