Performance art is really about the sociology of the artist, where ideas come from, and the confluence of those ideas.
I think what art is always doing is making us see the world so differently, and I don't mean just colors and light, but re-thinking relationships, spatial relationships, psychological relationships ... those who gravitate to the art world actually want to be puzzled.
As far as I'm concerned, the 20th century was performance-driven, but for some reason, the critics and historians didn't know how to integrate that.
My art history papers were really politics. They were about the manifestation of culture through the eye of political events. So there was always that refusal to settle in one place, or one discipline or medium.
It was very interesting growing up in South Africa then. It was extraordinary. It was multiculturalism before it became an issue.
There's a moment when you say, "Okay, I'm not going to become a dancer. I'm not going to become a painter." So in a sense, I ended up writing about those big conflicts that I felt.
I had met American artists and just couldn't believe their energy. London was always such a struggle to get anything going.
From day one, my idea was always to use the gallery as this animated place to discover culture in a much bigger way.
I started as a tap dancer in Durban, which is on the coast. That was an important part of growing up, turning on the radio in the morning and hearing Zulu singing or the news in Zulu.
I was often the only white girl in the Indian dance class. That felt funny, but doing Indian dance was great.
My father was a doctor. He was just a great guy, a gentle humanist, and an old-fashioned GP. He'd get up at three in the morning to see patients in different areas if they needed him.
I grew up as a dancer. I did tap, classical ballet, all of that. I did Indian dancing, or Bharata Natyam, classic temple dancing from Madras, originally. My mother always had the great idea that I should learn it.
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