Archive: Issue No. 52, December 2001

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Bangalore Torpedo

Rob van Vuuren and Jose Domingos in Bangalore Torpedo at the Bijou rooftop theatre
Photo: Pieter Hugo

'Post' mortem
by Cameron Platter

"What does it mean?"
'Post': A four-day workout of short cuts, falling media, cut 'n paste grammar, dubious decoration and spaced-out mania that didn't quite explore contemporary history in Cape Town, but did charm and entertain in other ways.

'Post' cool
What's great about 'Post' and its family of art parties is that they put art and opinions about art into the hands of the public. Though many of the 'Post' patrons don't usually attend art exhibits, everyone had an opinion. Nothing was spared a yah or a nah. This is a very empowering aspect of cultural events such as these.

"It's just a bar"
Once an old cinema, now part bar, part forge, part office space, the Bijou is a beautiful, somewhat derelict building filled with exciting spaces and loads of history. For many, 'Post' was their first experience of a place that has been around through the thick and thin of Lower Main Road's history.

"I've never been to anything like this before", and "isn't it great people are doing things?"
Wednesday evening was packed - the space rocked to the vibe of hundreds of "hip young thangs" shaking their booties and whiskey glasses. Attempting to keep an event going for longer than its opening night is a very brave task and sadly the numbers declined as the weekend approached.

Andrew Putter's ceiling lights and entrance sign delighted the eye and intrigued the mind. Bangalore Torpedo, written by Michelle Wilmers and starring Rob van Vuuren and Jose Domingos, was worth the cover price alone. It is a superb piece of theatre. If laughter is the best medicine, Francois van Reenen's Mean Green might just cure any ailment.

Eye candy
VHS & Beta's Flash work was superb - simple, colourful feasts of the eye, moving and morphing into sharp shapes and liquid lines. A whole dance party's backbone could rest on work like this. As for what it said about contemporary history, the jury is still out on that one. Likewise, Black Milk's incarnation as Dubious Milkeous, playing their own brand of electro-pop to slides of Glenda Kemp, didn't work on a visual or thematic level - but sounded like the best of experimental, freeform soundscaping.

Some aspects of the event smacked of last-minute (post haste?) curatorial license being over-exercised. The venue and theme weren't properly engaged to make for a tight, exciting event. Art was Presticked to walls; the theatre experienced far too many technical problems and was very cold and windy.

Belle of the ball
An event like this isn't just a cool thing to do on the weekend - it is a litmus test of culture in town, a chance to try new things and reimagine spaces in our environment. Nescafé came to the party and put its money where its mouth is. Thank you. Superb. Let's hope one thing really does lead to another and there are more events like this in the near future.

Post 'Post'?
What's next? How can the dubious hipsters and other copy-hyped arterati follow this? Often the best result that an event can hope for is to leave the audience wondering what's next. We look forward to the next instalment, opinions intact, minds open. Be ready for it.