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ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM

 

To celebrate is to publicly acknowledge a significant day or event with a social gathering or enjoyable activity – when celebrating one is expected to express joy and present a light demeanour. Sometimes people will dress up in specially chosen attire or according to a theme. At a celebration one can expect food, drink and music. Another way to describe a celebration is to call it a Party(!).

 

What to expect at an adult party:

 

Invariable:

Music

More than one person (arguable)

(alcoholic) Beverages

Joy/Happiness/Laughter

Conversation (light to robust)

(initial) Awkwardness

 

Variable:

Dancing

Food

Arguments

Posturing

Bravado

Revelations

Romance and/or Lust

 

Elephant in the Room is Hiroko Tsuchimoto’s investigation of the performances, dialogues and sequences that make up a party. Her interest in the absurd and awkwardness has produced insightful, ironic work with a sociological outlook.

 

In any room there is a combination of personalities and/or types of people, it’s possible that at a party certain personality traits are suppressed or amplified. There are those who are there to entertain and those there to be entertained, those who are there to see and those there be seen. It’s a supposedly symbiotic atmosphere where everyone in attendance is to gain fulfilment within their respective limits and social abilities.

 

In a jovial setting what then could be the “elephant in the room”? Perhaps among a combination of strangers, acquaintances and close friends socialising within a white gallery space, everyone will bring their own elephant.

 

Performance at Bag Factory Artists Studios, Johannesburg, South Africa

(documentation: photo by Solomon Moremong, video by Pre-empt Group /Phumlani Ntuli)

 

Text: Chumisa Ndakisa

Video: Solomon Moremong

Sound: Daniel Konar

Graphic design: Joe Turpin

DJ: Sam Turpin

Styling: Neo Diseko

Make-up: Zenie Mketeni

Performers: Bathusi Maqina, Bongekile Nguza, Khotso Motsoeneng, Lwando Dlamini, Palesa Sibiya

 

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