Robyn Orlin — City Theatre and Dance Group
And So You See… Our Honorable Blue Sky and Ever Enduring Sun… Can Only Be Consumed Slice by Slice…
The opening was masterful. The initial image of Albert Khoza as a pile of sheets — an inanimate and beguiling conceptual artwork — quickly transformed: from under the radiant heap of sheets Khoza emerged wrapped in saran wrap, like a contemporary Leigh Bowery. What followed were “slices,” a succession of technicolour tableaux accompanied by a live video feed juxtaposing scenes where Khoza moved beyond “playing” this first amorphous form, and began “acting out” roles that depended upon narrative exposition. Following this scene, he sings Mozart’s Requiem in an evocative manner, a kind of creolization of the songs, perhaps attempting to construct a cross-cultural narration of common funerary rites of the never-ending failures of our shared global postcolonial moment.
After the requiem, the subsequent scenes of “acting out” degrade into farcical transmigrations in role playing. Khoza changes from a quasi-shamanic entity, to a grotesque Ubu Roi-like despot asking audience members to wash him while renaming another person Adolf Hitler, through to acting out as an extroverted drag performer getting ready for a date with the blood diamond voleur (Vladimir Putin) of Khoza’s native South Africa, all the way through to assuming the identity of postcolonial monologuist. The reference to Bowery felt added on, like much of the performance. The drag reeked of being appropriated from a realm of commodified identities.