Artists converge for celebration

2020-02-04 06:00
Architecture mentor Sir David Adjaye and protege Mariam Kamara.PHOTO: Rolex/Tina Ruisinger

Architecture mentor Sir David Adjaye and protege Mariam Kamara.PHOTO: Rolex/Tina Ruisinger

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More than 200 artists and arts leaders from South Africa and around the world will gather at the Baxter Theatre for the Rolex Arts Weekend on Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 February. The Arts Weekend, a series of public events – talks, readings, exhibitions and performances, including two world premieres – will feature the work of the 2018-2019 protégés of the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative with their mentors.

The two-day celebration pairs master artists with emerging artists in several disciplines for a period of creative exchange.

“The Baxter is a most appropriate venue for the Arts Weekend,” said Rebecca Irvin, head of the Rolex Arts Initiative. “Not only is it known for presenting a variety of progressive works, it is led by CEO and artistic director Lara Foot, herself a former protégée of the theatre great Sir Peter Hall in the 2004-2005 series.”

Through these events, the protégés will demonstrate the insights they gained from their mentors. Foot says the opportunity to host the event is an honour for her and for the Baxter.

“As the years go by, I find that my year-and-a half with Peter, nearly 15 years ago, has become richer and more meaningful. As I become more of a mentor and as my writing evolves and I take on bigger challenges with my directing, I find that the time with my mentor becomes more recent. So, in a sense, it never really ended.”

This year the event is being curated by Fruzsina Szép, the Hungarian-born festival and artistic director of Lollapalooza Berlin, who also served as an arts initiative nominator, helping to identify suitable potential protégés for the programme in 2018-2019.

Highlights over the weekend include dance, architecture, literature, music, arts symposia and cinema.

The Arts Weekend kicks off on Saturday from 10:00 to 11:30, with the symposium entitled “Who is Unrepresented in the Arts Today? The Arts in Times of Polarization”, in the main theatre. Professor Homi K Bhabha will lead the discussions with Foot, AnneMarie Jacir, Yo Yo Ma and Wole Soyinka.

The Sunday programme starts at 14:00 until 15:30, with the second symposium, moderated by Bhabha, with William Kentridge, Tracy K Smith, Mira Nair, Stephen Frears and Robert Wilson, entitled “Other Muses: Inspirations from Elsewhere”, in the main theatre.

In addition to the symposia and the mentor-protégé events, an Arts Weekend Cinema at the Baxter’s Golden Arrow Studio will feature films about the Rolex Arts Initiative, with past and present mentors and protégés. These screenings are free and will take place from 12:00 until 21:00 on both days.

Ticket prices are R100 and R50 for students. All proceeds will go the Baxter’s Zabalaza Theatre Festival.

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