‘Proposal for THE BOOK OF HOLES’ is a performance-lecture, which extends and develops the themes explored in the solo exhibition ‘History [TBC]: Refocusing the South African War’ (see Council Chamber). As with the other works on exhibition, the performance-lecture focuses a contemporary lens on the South African War (or Anglo-Boer War) of 1899-1902, situating it within present-day decolonising South Africa and a legacy of history-writing marred by erasure and exclusion.
Cast: The Reader; the Lecturer.
Artefact: WO 32/8061 [THE BOOK OF HOLES].
Performance notes: The Reader is seated at a desk, in front of the closed solander box, facing the audience as the lecture begins. She opens the solander box. She removes the paperknife from its custom-built tray, by gently inserting her finger under the tip of the blade. She places the knife alongside the box. (All the while, the Lecturer speaks.) Donning the cotton gloves, the Reader lifts out the book, and proceeds to page. Intermittently, she picks up the knife, and uses it to sever the uncut seams. She puts down the knife, closes the book, and removes the gloves. These are left lying on the desk. She returns to her seat in the audience. (The lecture continues.)