About the Project

In 2013 Anthea Moys won the Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Performance Art in South Africa. In response to this award the winning artists are awarded time and money to make work for the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown – a small city in the Eastern Cape. Anthea wanted to create a work that responded to this place and that included the people that lived, worked and played in Grahamstown. So, for three months she lived in Grahamstown and joined six different teams, learnt how to dance, sing, play the bag pipes, play chess and soccer and got she got her yellow belt in karate. She then single-handedly challenged each team to their own game, ultimately losing each battle but still trying her best. The main concept of the work attempts to reimagine winning. So – what if the act of learning was the winning? After Grahamstown she went on to challenge the city of Geneva in four different activities as part of the Antigel Festival in 2014.

Anthea Moys is a performance artist based in Melville, Johannesburg. Since 2013, she has also been a ballroom dancer, a chess player, a singer, a Swiss wrestler, an alphorn player, an ice hockey player, an indoor track cyclist and a member of the Scottish resistance army.

After total immersion and intense training in each of these unfamiliar disciplines, the artist competed solo against the teams she had been training with. She faced these teams outnumbered, outmatched and with all odds stacked against her, in a series of public contests she could not hope to win.

This video documents the artist’s journey from Grahamstown to Geneva; and that re-imagines victory as the act of learning rather than conquest.

The artist is currently learning to DJ.

Watch the video here