Archaeology of time – activation of installation space by the spect-actor
Koers 85(1) 2020 Cover Art
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Keywords

Installation art
Jan van der Merwe
embodied perception
spect-actor

Abstract

An artistic installation implies theatre in situ, in that a/the space is transformed into a potential experiential encounter through design and scenography. This potential space then only requires the spectator to activate the full experience through embodied engagement with the installation, inciting visceral meaning-making. This embodied activation implies that the spectator then also becomes a performer, as they are simultaneously the ones physically causing the theatrical experience and the ones experiencing the elements designed for (their) interpretation. In this manner a heightened sense of becoming what Boal (1992) coined the ‘spect-actor’ is achieved. By activating the space through physical engagement with/in the installation where all the sensory receptors trigger a visceral response in the spect-actor, meaning-making occurs through phenomenology and implies a knowing body through personal- and socio-cultural interpretation. For this paper, the installations by renowned South African artist Jan van der Merwe are used as examples to argue for the emergence of the spect-actor in the role of activator. As an installation artist, Van der Merwe creates large artworks of intricately recreated tableaux often composed in discarded, rusted found material. Van der Merwe calls the found objects “artefacts of our time”. Thus, they assume an archaeological quality and become relics of a way of life, a civilisation degenerated and fossilised though time and rust. The spect-actor is both then the site and cite of activation where the time and space converge into an ephemeral experience.

Ho epolloa ha lintho tsa khale nako: ts'ebetso ea sebaka sa tlhomamiso ke moetsi oa spect-actor

Boetsi ba bonono bo ikhethileng ka tshebediso ya ditshwantsho sebakeng ho bontša hore ho na le liketsahalo tsa sethala, ka hore sebaka se fetoha sebopeho se nang le phihlelo ka ho qaptjoa le ho shebahala. Sebaka sena se ka etsahala habonolo feela se hloka hore mmoheli a khone ho etsa boiphihlelo bo feletseng ka ho khomahanya ka ketsahatso, e leng tsela ya ho khothalletsa ho etsa moelelo oa visceral. Tshebetso ena e ncha e fana ka maikutlo a hore motho ea shebellang le ena o fetoha sebapali, kaha ka nako e tšoanang o etsa hore ho be le boiphihlelo ba papali ho ba nang le likarolo tse etselitsoeng tlhaloso ea bona. Ka tsela ena ho ba le kutloisiso e phahameng ea ho ba seo Boal (1992) a ileng a se bitsa hore ke mmohi-sebapali se fihlelloe. Ka ho futhumatsa sebaka ka tsela ya ho sebelisa mmele har’a mosebetsi wa bonono o pampiri ena e baung ka ona, e leng ona o lokollang li-receptor tsohle tse utloahalang hore li hlahise karabo ea visceral ho mmohi-sepali. Ho etsa moelelo o etsahalang ka phenomenology ho bolela mmele o tsebang ka litlhaloso tsa setso. Bakeng sa pampiri ena mesebetsi ea bonono ea moetsahatsi oa Afrika Boroa ea tummeng, Jan van der Merwe, e tla sebelisoa e le mohlala ho pheha khang ka ho hlaha ha mmohi-sebapali karolong ea motho ea futhumatsang le ho etsahatsa mosebetsi wa bonono ka nako eo o etsahalang ka yona. Joalokaha moetsahatsi oa bonono, van der Merwe o etsa litšoantšo tse kholo tsa seka-litšoantšo tse entsoeng ka mokhoa o rarahaneng o atisang ho etsoa ka thepa e lahliloeng, e bolileng. Van der Merwe o bitsa lintho tse a lifumaneng ho etsa mosebetsi oa hae "lintho tsa nako ea rona". Ka hona, ntho tsena linka seemo sa lintho tsa khale tse epollotsoeng ebe lifetoha litšoantšo tsa mokhoa oa bophelo, tsoelo-pele e ileng ea khutlela moraho le ho khitloa nakong. Ha hole joalo, mmohi-sepabali eba sebaka le moetsahatsi wa futhumatso tsebetsong moo nako le sebaka li fetohang phihlelo ea ho iphelisa.

 

https://doi.org/10.19108/KOERS.85.1.2477

https://doi.org/10.19108/KOERS.85.1.2477
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