nora chipaumire / Jay Pather


Artist Talk – Beyond Drag


Choreographer and academic Nora Chipaumire’s work explores, with a fierce intensity, the body as performative of race and gender. She describes her work AfroPromo#1 King Lady 1 as an Afro-Feminist manifesto beautifying bodies to claim the right of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. In Portrait of myself as my Father, performedi n a boxing ring, Chipaumire simultaneously embodies and critiques hypermasculinity. However, her deft slipping in and out across gender, and her consideration of emasculation offer a much more nuanced reading than straightforward critique. She writes I give (my father) boxing gloves so that he can have a fighting chance. I have put him in a boxing ring to battle with himself, his shadow, his ancestors, the industrial gods and that merciless tyrant: progress. There is no easy binary here and Chipaumire brings forth a complexity characteristic of her work, not least when it comes to issues of violent patriarchy on the African continent. In this conversation with curator and academic, Jay Pather, both artists pursue notions of drag as a considered strategy in contemporary performance, for critique, survival and emancipation. 


nora chipaumire was born in 1965 in what was then known as Umtali, Rhodesia (now Mutare, Zimbabwe). She is a product of colonial education for black native Africans - known as group B schooling - and has pursued other studies at the University of Zimbabwe (law) and at Mills College in Oakland, CA (dance).


Jay Pather is a choreographer, curator, and academic. Based in Cape Town, he is an Associate Professor and directs the Institute for Creative Arts at UCT. He curates Infecting the City Public Art Festival and the ICA Live Art Festival. He was recently appointed Fellow at the University of London and was recently made Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the French Government.




Kofinanziert durch das Programm Erasmus+ der Europäischen Union