Johannesburg-based painter and filmmaker Thenjiwe Niki Nkosi presents a multi-site video and multimedia artwork titled Equations for a Body at Rest, which tracks the history and symbolic presentation of the Commonwealth Games (and by association, the Commonwealth body itself) from its genesis in empire to the current day.
Has the changing public face of the Games corresponded to equivalent changes at an anatomical level? What are the implications for all those participating in the Games today?
Equations for a Body at Rest has two components, The Same Track, and The Name Game, each working in tandem with the other. Together they form a public work in video, print, and online. Spread across the city, within community groups and on large screens, posters and billboards, Nkosi’s work speaks to the institutional exploitations and desires of a white Commonwealth geo-political-industrial complex.
The Same Track is a new video work playing on screens around the city, using archival footage of Commonwealth Games athletes, spectators, and administrators, cut together with promotional and other film materials. Through symbolic juxtapositions of scenes from different eras, the work – using tropes of public messaging – highlights both transformation and stasis through time. Alternately playful and shocking, The Same Track works with the idea that the Games, including its current iteration, is implicated in an ongoing political project centuries in the making.
Smithfield Festival Site
Saturday 30 July – Monday 8 August, daily throughout the Games.
Smithfield Festival Site, B5 6UB
DFF Launch: Friday 5 August, 6–8pm
Eastside Projects, 86 Heath Mill Lane, B9 4AR
Neighbourhood Festival Sites
Thursday 28 – Friday 29 July
Farnborough Fields, Castle Vale, B35 7LQ
Friday 29–Saturday 30 July
Sense Touchbase Pears, Selly Oak, B29 6NA
Saturday 30 – Sunday 31 July
Sparkhill Park, Sparkhill, B11 4LX
Monday 1 – Tuesday 2 August
Edgbaston Reservoir, Edbaston, B16 9EE
Wednesday 3 – Thursday 4 August
Oaklands Recreation Ground, Yardley, B25 8UB
Friday 5 – Saturday 6 August
Handsworth Park, Handsworth, B20 2BY
Sunday 7 – Monday 8 August
Ward End Park, Ward End, B8 3PH
Community Micro-Festival in collaboration with Bertz Associates
Featuring ‘Tower of Dreams’ (Dir. Pogus Caesar) and ‘Sporting Tower’ (Dir. Yonatan Tiruneh).
Throughout July and August in community centres and spaces across the city:
– The Lampworks, 3 Key Hill, Jewellery Quarter, B18 5NY
– Nechells POD, 28 Oliver Street, Nechells, B7 4NX
– Word Life Centre, 9 William Street North, Newtown, B19 3QH
– Civic Square, Canalside House, Rotton Park Street, Edgbaston, B16 0AB