Live art festival back after lockdown

Director of the Institute of Creative Arts Jay Pather speaks about the live arts festival.

The Institute of Creative Arts (ICA) live art festival will be held again for the first time since the national lockdown was implemented in 2020. This was announced last Thursday by Jay Pather, the director of the ICA.

The live art festival will take place at UCT’s Hiddingh Campus in Gardens, Iziko Slave Lodge in the city centre, Zeitz MOCAA at the V&A Waterfront and the Kirstenbosch national gardens from Saturday March 19 to Saturday April 3.

“Live art is about being free to some extent about risk taking in performance and we couldn’t do that,” said Mr Pather.

“With this live festival there is a lot of projection, video work and so on and it is indoors, so we doing at all these venues with the windows open and (will) limit the amount of viewers at these venues,” he said of the measures they will take to comply with Covid-19 regulations.

Nico Athene, Surfacing (Emerge) 2019 , picture supplied by ICA

Mr Pather explains that live art is a combination of the visual and the performance but that the artist is more interested in a question as opposed to entertainment.

“For example, in certain arts you have what you want me to say, while in live art the artist says how they feel. If you see a musical production, a movie, you know what to expect but with live arts you don’t know what you will get, will the artist excite you, disturb you? You don’t know what you will get.”

Asemahle Ntlonti Infecting The City (N.Pamplin) supplied by ICA.

The ICA live arts programme can be viewed online. Tickets are free but space is limited so those who are interested are encouraged to book early. Bookings open on Wednesday March 9. For more information, email

There were artists, curators and reporters at the media launch of the Institute of Creative Arts live arts festival.