Stained

Conceptualised and performed by
Kieron Jina and Gina Kraft

Photographed by Matthew Kay

This performance piece is a collaboration between Kieron Jina and Gina Kraft with photographs taken by Matthew Kay. The starting point for this project is a performance at a gold mine dump in the city of Johannesburg. A wasteland of dust sucked dry of all material wealth. It has been re-mined for all the gold that it, as a dump, held. Its remains are still a monument to the gold-mining beginnings of Johannesburg, the city’s reason for existence. A number of people traverse the space as they make their way to and from work in the mornings and afternoons. They see it as merely the shortest route to their destination. The desolate landscape, raped of all meaning and wealth, emphasises the people’s position, and their role, in the city.

In another part of the dump, a man and a woman wearing toasters as shoes struggle their way through the wasteland towards each other. They play the roles of a bride, a lone white figure traversing a barren land, and a Congolese dandy, a sapeur, the style of dress of which imitates the French and Belgian colonists who seized control over the Congo during the 1880s. The man, in turn, imitates the Congolese dandies, not only in his dress, but also in the incongruous environment in which he is. The combination of the two characters creates an unlikely pair. They end up on the top of a small hill made of stones discarded from the re-mining process. As they stand on the hill, they personify the cheap, plastic figurines placed on top of a wedding cake.

In further development of the project, the dandy and the bride will make their appearance in the centre of the city, tracing a path towards each other through people rather than through difficult terrain, and creating interventions in the space. Their struggle will be of a different kind to the struggle they had at the mine dump. It’ll be more about navigation through the buses, taxis and cars, people selling their wares, cutting and braiding hair, homeless people, and others populating the streets of the city.

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