Interview: Jake Singer & Thuthuka Sibisi

001Jake Singer & Thuthuka Sibisi, Flat Bisection

Interview: Jake Singer & Thuthuka Sibisi

South African artists Jake Singer and Thuthuka Sibisi talk with Luca Curci about art and MORPHOS festival.

Jake Singer is an artist living in Johannesburg South Africa, graduated cum laude with a BA of Fine Art at Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town in 2013 with a major in sculpture. Much of his work is focused on architectural languages of the cities in which he has lived: Johannesburg and Cape Town. He is interested in the architectures of the South African metropolis because they tell stories about the social and political changes that have occurred in the dramatically dynamic era within a specific socio-political context.

002Jake Singer & Thuthuka Sibisi, Vista of Inversion

Thuthuka Sibisi completed his Bachelor of Music (Stellenbosch University) in 2011 with further studies in Physical Theatre Performance with Samantha Prigge and Estelle Olivier. His musical education finds its roots in his training at the world-renowned Drakensberg Boy’s Choir School, where his passion for performance was born. Thuthuka has had opportunity to tour extensively, performing throughout South Africa as well as Japan and Argentina. Further tours have included Stockholm, Sweden, as chorus master and conductor of Philip Miller’s short opera “An anatomy of a mining accident” in collaboration with Cape Town Opera and Stockholm’s University College of Opera.

005Jake Singer & Thuthuka Sibisi, Parallax (disambiguation)

Luca Curci – Can you talk about the artwork you presented in Venice? How is it linked with the festival’s theme?

Jake Singer – The point of departure of this body of work deals with the changing identity in a changing space. So in the context of the festival’s theme which is “sustainable empires”, the work positions itself with respect to the body of the “Other” in a space whose architecture represented the interests of the hegemony. So it looks for a new way of making sense of an architecture or space that pre-1994 was used to oppress and suppress, and herein we attempt to locate our own identities.

Thuthuka Sibisi – This collaboration considered the changed body in a changing space. Looking at Johannesburg as the proverbial changing space – from its migrant origins to its current global position – the intention rests in finding a place for a changed individual body. Ultimately, as the artists, their lay an urgent redefining of an individual place within a space that once was home. The core of this collaboration sets itself in understanding a city that once gave birth to said artists.

004Jake Singer & Thuthuka Sibisi, Planes of Diagonal Fall

L. C. – What are you currently working on?

J. S. – I am currently working with Johannesburg’s most outrageous fashion designer, Tzvi Karp, on a series of wearable steel sculpture which will culminate in a video and a fashion show/exhibition/performance/installation. This is a further investigation into the urban space and identity. The running theme of this exciting project is ‘the cult of the urban’.

T. S. – Chorus master for Cape Town Opera’s production of Rossini’s “Il Viaggio a reims”.

Luca Curci – What is art for you?

J. S. – For me art finds subjectivity within a world of objects. I feel that anything can be art, but whether it’s good or not is another story. For me “good” art is seeing something you wouldn’t expect to see or can’t believe you’re seeing in a given context.

T. S. – A caught moment between two existences – the physical and its meta spaces. Most especially is the interrogation of these spaces and thoughts and finally their manifestations. I feel it’s a constant negotiating between the familiar and the urge for the foreign and strange. Art almost transcends to become a homesickness for the places we have never known.

003Jake Singer & Thuthuka Sibisi, Steel Archive with Extension

L. C. – What do you think about International ArtExpo organisation?

J. S. – We’ve had great rapport and interactions with the organizers, which surely leads to good organisation. I think International ArtExpo is a great platform, especially coming from South Africa, to create opportunities for exposure and to stimulate the international public’s minds about paradigms of my/our context.

L. C. – Do you think International ArtExpo organization can represent an opportunity for artists?

J. S. – Yes I’m sure it can and I’m confident that it has. I look forward to more exciting projects coming from International ArtExpo.

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