Jimmy Robert (born Guadaloupe, France, 1975)
I have tried to articulate different ideas around the body as object, the idea of gesture and performativity through different situations.
With the art students of Michaelis we did a silent march through the streets, very much in the way happenings of the 60's used to take place, we walked around the center of cape town, we were about 12, and we seem to become one body, all relying on each other and yet feeling independent to observe every detail around us, as though wandering without aim which would have otherwise distracted us from our collective experience.
I also presented a series of collages, made from local newspapers from the past two years, and an old album of the south-african flora, thus blending images, sometimes playing with the inherent violence of some news images juxtaposed with the ‘fragility' of local flowers depicted with a fading nostalgia. Very often the images represented body parts or actual individuals in physically challenging situations, sometimes the flowers would act as an extension of the movements. I wanted the images to have the spontaneity of dance.
Alongside the images, there was a video, shot at EVOL, a Capetonian rock/goth club, on every Friday, the place was very dark so it was difficult to capture an image, the performance/intervention consisted in a series of movements, positions which would be held still while others are dancing around, becoming some sort of sculptural interference, the idea was to play with what constitutes the ‘alternative', how one can perceive onself as counter-cultural, different ; i have an experience of this kind of clubbing and very often find myself quite isolated, consciously playing with ideas around representation, i sought an alternative to the idea of ‘Alternative'.