On Seeing Red and other Fantasies: Whooosh!

Age restricted: Under 18

You go to the ballet, the philharmonic, Andrew Buckland, you support the Standard Bank young artist winners, read Cue and follow the ovations.

And then you just want to say fuck all of that.

And fuck SA, and dolphins, and art, and this piece, and even the final sacrilege, you burn a R100 note with Madiba’s face on it.

Where in hell are you? At Gavin Krastin and Alan Parker’s performance art piece  On Seeing Red and other Fantasies.

And they are saying fuck to everything. It’s in their “Fuck Manifesto”, which they shout out, starting with the F-word for every line.

They say: “Fuck spectacle, virtuosity, magic, make-believe, the fourth wall, politeness, etiquette, transformation, moving, Cape Town and its stupid mountain, McDonalds” – and this goes on for over 100 lines.

It’s on the Main, as in purchased by the National Art Festival, and if any show roams the outer realm of dystopian freedom of creativity and expression in South Africa, right now this has to be it.

It turns the national subconscious inside out like exploding popcorn.

It stabs and guts. Parker puts a riot shield on Krastin and walks on him, Parker chugs down a bottle of wine on stage, you glug your free bottle of wine, Krastin paints his face with his own blood which he draws three minutes before the show… So much going on in this mad cabaret you have to grab the crayon on the table and write down your thoughts.

They will read them only at the end.

Please don’t read the NAF programme note; it is dense and intellectual. The show is not. The references are there, the metaphors, “the social underpinnings and philosophies of space which inspire a questioning of operational systems, thresholds, proximities and the politics of boundary-crossings and transgressions”. And all that sort of art bollocks.

If there is only one act of recognition to be taken from the piece, is it to feel utterly outraged?

Or is it to feel insanely liberated?

It’s brutal and sad out there. South Africa needs a safety valve.

This piece pumps up our plastic reality, our wobbly democracy.

It pulls the plug and we go WHOOOOOSHH!

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