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REVOLUTIONARY LOVE

STACY HARDY & TAMARA GUHRS

Revolutionary Love is a research installation as well as a performance environment for the theatre production, The Drowning Eye. Using love letters and revolutionary writings as coordinate points, the exhibit maps connections between liberation movements and legendary love affairs, troubling ideas of romance and revolution, love and resistance, loyalty, betrayal and violence. In doing so it re-energises the role of women in revolution and asks the spectator to rethink romantic love. The exhibition gives context to Frantz Fanon as lover-philosopher-poet on the path to becoming one of the most influential thinkers of the decolonial struggle.

“Today I believe in the possibility of love; that is why I endeavor to trace its imperfections, its perversions.”
― Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks

“At the risk of seeming ridiculous, let me say that the true revolutionary is guided by great feelings of love. It is impossible to think of a genuine revolutionary lacking this quality.” – Che Guevara

VENUE

Rhodes University School of Fine Art | Studio Gallery 2

DURATION

23 June – 03 July

CREDITS

Concept: Stacy Hardy and Tamara Guhrs
Installation text and concept curated by Stacy Hardy and Kaushik Sunder Rajan with Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society
Fabrication and spatial design: Flying House
Sound: Tumi Mogorosi
Voice: Lesego Rampolokeng

‘The School of Revolutionary Love’ is a collaboration between Flying House, Windybrow Arts Centre, The Market Lab, with funding from the French Institute South Africa and Mazarz.

Support from the Chicago Center for Contemporary Theory and Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society, the University of Chicago and contributions from:
Salma Abdulkader, Nora Abedelal, Ana Lucia Battaglino, Lauren Beard, Tracy Brannstrom, Darren Brockes, Emily Claypool, Neal Feldman, Asher Gamedze, Rami Kablawi, Emma Kahn, Keshav Kundassery, Shihua Lu, Yangqiao Lu, Safia Mahjebin, Navid Mazidabadifarahani, Alyssa Mendez, Yasir Piracha, Frida Roble, Ajung Ryoo, Parisa Tajalli Tehrani Valverde, Finn West, Alaina Wibberly, Tucker Wooldridge, Joanna Zabiega from Fanon Fire Love.

ARTISTS

In 1992 Stacy Hardy and Tamara Guhrs founded Venus Fly Trapeze, a feminist/ LGBTQIA theatre company which produced more than 10 original productions throughout the 1990s until Hardy and Guhrs began to pursue their own individual careers.

Hardy worked largely as a writer and an Associate Editor at the pan-African journal Chimurenga, together with whom she has presented research driven installations at Manifesta 12, Palermo (2018), Art X Lagos (2017), Raw Academy, Dakar, l (2017), Performa 2015, New York, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2014) amongst others.

Hardy also regularly collaborates with Angolan composer Victor Gama on multimedia works that have been performed around the world. Her one woman performance piece, Museum of Lungs premiered in Johannesburg (September 2018), followed by dates at the ICA festival in Cape Town, and an extensive European tour, including dates at Kaserne, Basel and Spielart in Munich (2018 -2019).

She has just completed a libretto for a new opera with composer Bushra El-Turk , which won the Fedora – Generali Prize for Opera 2020 and will be performed All Arias festival (deSingel Antwerpen), Royal Opera House London and Festival d’Aix-en-Provence amongst others in 2022.
She’s currently working on a libretto for a new interpretation of Mozart’s Requiem Mass, commissioned by Sheffield University (UK). She is currently Senior Research Fellow at the University of Chicago, working on a multimedia interdisciplinary project exploring biographies and geographies of breath, through a focus on colonial histories and postcolonial politics.

Tamara Guhrs is a playwright-scenographer who creates interactive theatre experiences rooted in ecosystemic thinking. Some notable productions include Terror is not the erotic commodity it used to be (NAF, 2003), Sie Weiss Alles (NAF, 2011) by James Cairns, Inanna, Queen of Heaven and Earth (Sex Actually Festival, 2012), Night/Light with Danieyella Rodin (2017) and Ngale kwe Ndlu / The Other Side of the House (2018), a site-specific immersive performance installation on the Windybrow, which she created with Alex Halligey and Kwasha!

Her play Thin Air was shortlisted for the Imbewu Scribe Playwrighting Awards (2015) and won the 2019 Canada South Africa Women’s Playwriting Award (CASA). Her play for young audiences, Space Rocks was selected for the Kennedy Centre’s New Visions New Voices programme (Washington DC, 2016) and premiered at the ASSITEJ Congress (Cape Town, 2017) before touring nationally.

Guhrs co-founded the design collective Flying House with Jenni-lee Crewe, which in 2019 curated an exhibit for PQ19, the Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space, featuring the work of 10 South African fringe designer-scenographers.
She maintains a strong link with her Zambian roots, working with SEKA to agitate for community-based conservation and human-wildlife co-existence. She holds two MA degrees, in Dramatic Arts and Creative Writing, and teaches participatory playmaking at Wits Drama for Life, Sacred Heart College and the Market Theatre Lab.