Ways of Remembering Existing

Donna Kukama

Semester 1: Ways of Existing: Becoming-Text. We’ll look at Performance Art as a tool for writing-in-time with the use of unknowing-grammars that go beyond what is immediately decipherable or categorized at first glance. This will be through an understanding of institutional critique, decoloniality, feminism, and queer/black/migration identity politics as not separate “themes” but often overlapping and embodied ways of navigating the world that require complex language systems. This module of experimenting aims to open up possibilities for embracing what Sisanda Msimang (2017) describes as “characters that come from the future, whose tenacity resists categorization”.

Semester 2: Ways of Remembering: When Monuments Live To Die. We will shift towards how we remember, and what it is that we wish to tell of ourselves. The focus will zoom in on performance art as memory work. This is explored from a critique of how the currently adopted global (Western) approach to monument-making serves the purpose of reinstating ideologies that communicate history from positions of those in power. The outputs are to invent new strategies for remembering unacknowledged stories (both personal and public) by applying ephemerality as a counter-imagery of hyper-visible and permanent public structures/monuments/memorials.

The lab series will conclude in an activation of public/live/site-specific/institutional/discrete/online manifestations of participants’ ideas and working processes.