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There are works that simply repeat what we have seen before by just changing the context within which their narratives are rooted and then push the narratives towards us. One, supposedly a discerning viewer, can forgive such narratives for their repetitive swing if they are adorned with strong points in their construction. If the work is revisionist in its take of the subject matter concerned then the discerning viewer is in for a treat. If there is a lack in this regard but the work makes up for it in its actors performances or its production design which may represent a strong center point in the delivery of the narrative, the viewer – discerning or lay, may be forgiving as far as the failure of the work to advance story telling is concerned. The Ring, which falls in the latter spectrum is rescued by an ensemble of its actors as it tries to impress¶
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The story of paranormal activity with a twist of traditional African beliefs has been told before. In any case it would seem quite weird but not impossible for a protagonist to be inserted in a story set in South Africa wherein they are mysteriously blessed with telepathic prowess without attributing their power to some ancestral lineage. Imagine if there was such a film? Contextually speaking the creatives involved will have to push the imaginary envelope where no one has gone before. That place does exist. It is outside of the box¶
Location: LL Editions Fine Art Printing, The Bag Factory, Johannesburg, South Africa
Date: Friday 28 November 2014 at 09:00
Mmutle Arthur Kgokong: Well I just want to thank you Senzo for giving me the time to talk to you especially here in the studio, not at your home where you will be bombarded with house chores (jokingly).
Senzo Njabulo Shabangu: (laughs) true
Mmutle AK: Yah, here it’s much better because it is your work space.
Senzo NS: Yes we can, …I understand, we can…
Mmutle: At the moment you are here at The Bag Factory neh?
MAK: You are working on a new body of work? Tell me what is the work about actually in terms of the content of what you are dealing with for this new body of work?
Senzo. It’s like, I have been dealing a lot with issues of Joburg pressure because to me it is easy to realize that pressure the city has. So since I came here (in) 2006 I have been feeling that pressure like …at home when you are in the city they have their own expectations and as an artist it is also difficult. It is difficult for everyone the way a city designed because it’s got that pressure and for me as someone who comes outside of the city it’s easy for me to feel that pressure.
HER is Slow, silent and grindingly haunting. It’s a story that warns us on over reliance on computer programs to the verge where we think about them as partners …hysterically as lovers, we might punctuate. Do not engage intimately with software programs for they too, like full blooded live humans, need maintenance; seem to be the warning that this film carry. Give yourself a break before you sit through this film again. It’s not bad, in fact it is great. Besides the stellar cast it is hedged upright for attention by the novelty of the idea it harbors, that necessarily makes it an original venture plot wise that is, as well as an interesting production and costumes designs. We give it 3 dEFPoints out of Five: ♦♦♦ ¶
© Mmutle Arthur Kgokong 2015
ON the 7 February 2015 at about ten in the morning I was about to read the prepared speech below at the opening of Tshwane University of Technology Department of Fine and Applied Arts BTech exhibition while I noticed, in the sea of the crowd nestle here and there serious looks including a couple of people who rolled their eyes upwards in the ‘here it comes’ attitude. This together with the occasional air blows from the nearby air con which ruffled my prepared speech papers in its duel against the onslaught of summer heat convinced me to ditch the speech and speak from an improvised angle. I doubt if anyone ate from my palms. Contrary to popular believe of the little circle I belong to, I am never comfortable speaking in public, even if it’s about what I feel passionate about, art. I find solace in the written text. Presently I hope that the speech below does justice to my improvised performance.¶
This is a tale about an idealist educator who arrives at a very low morale school in Alexander and takes it upon herself to try and change the attitude of the learners. I couldn’t help but think back to the early nineties when I underwent my high schooling years and wondered how our teachers made it without wifi hotspots and such, although we did have a laboratory which was utilized fully, but the internet was a myth of sci-fi proportions and our educators oozed with gusto and love for their calling. Fezeka Dlamini(Xolile Tshabalala), an orphan, is a university graduate with a science degree, actually an arsenal of them as we learn later. Her altruistic deeds pushes her to opt to give back the learners of the school she is posted to since she herself was fortunate to be given the opportunities she’s had¶