Artist’s Statement

Gavin Krastin has always straddled theatre and dance with work that is full of beauty, but not always easy to stomach.” – City Press

“There’s nothing polite or subtle about performance artist Gavin Krastin‘s work. His interests lie in the permeability and politics of boundaries – of the body and how it is represented, of theatre conventions, gender, and space – within the larger South African socio-political context. Rather than using performance as a means of escaping the politics of the body, Gavin uses it as a way to occupy and subvert, and challenge notions of presentation and representation.” – Indie Channel

I am a South African performance/live artist, theatre-maker, scenographer and arts educator with an interest in the body’s representation in alternative and layered spaces. My work is inspired by my immediate South African environment and the histories and performative identities embedded in its shifting post-colonial and de-colonial socio-political climate. The social underpinnings and philosophies of space intrigue me and inspire a questioning and mythologizing of operational systems, behaviours, proximities and the politics of boundary-crossings and transgressions in my work.

Favouring intimate audience experiences and a proclivity for immersive and site-based performances, I advocate for the extension of the performance frame and a migration towards unconventional spaces. In doing so the parameters of spectatorship are extended, positioning the audience as agents, co-conspirators and participants in live art practices.

What live art and performance art surfaces, or provokes, for me is the revolutionary and resistant potential of contemporary body-based live art and performance practices where real, live actions are able to unveil the many defeats of the body perpetrated by the traumas of history and representation. This unveiling constitutes the power of performance and live art; a minor revolt where local bodies influence global shifts and connections in a manner that challenges the weary/wary status quo and our complicity within it.

I hold a Master of Arts Degree in choreography and performance and an undergraduate degree in drama and art history and visual cultures. The dove-tailing of these various influences is fundamental to my work as I aim to interrogate space, choreograph the visual and augment the body-silhouette. I present work at numerous festivals and platforms in South Africa and internationally, have lectured at Rhodes University and have worked with the First Physical Theatre Company. I currently operate from nomadic creative spaces in Cape Town, often collaborating with my partner, choreographer Alan Parker, and lecture part-time at the University of Cape Town.