Angels of Stealth
"Foreign Affair" (2010) is a work by South African artist-director Rodney Place.
Rodney Place has been developing Angels of Stealth since 2004. It is inspired by the iconic pin-up girls painted on the noses of Western military aircraft from the First World War until today. These women recently accompanied their men in the conquest of the East, from the Cold War to the Gulf Wars. The question arose, what about Eastern women moving west? Is this another kind of conquest requiring a different kind of stealth? The theme of the series is the encounter between East and West in the new Europe. Angels of Stealth has thus been developed in phases in Paris, Warsaw, Vienna, Rotterdam, and The Hague.
"Rosa plots an escape from the clawing sub-culture of her birth; she’s a European in Africa, severed from the nervous system of her international Communist Inheritance and having to put up with local capitalist banalities. She travels the Internet in a quest to reconnect with her great grandmother, a confidante of Trotsky in revolutionary Moscow. Like a spy downloading identities from history-as-media, she implicates women of her age – Trotsky’s secretary, Tatyana in From Russia with Love, Ukrainian brides – and reinvents herself as a punkish Eastern European. At the same time she has to deal with her alcoholic mother resisting the vagaries of age with the help of Dr Rolfstein, a celebrity plastic surgeon; a once-exiled friend too deeply rooted in the South African Struggle; and the insidious hotel night manager who refuses to fix her curtain."
Between May and June 2010, V2_Lab’s Stan Wannet produced the prototype
Magic Box, the interactive stage for Angels of Stealth. The stage
mediates between live performance and video, and replicates a room in
the cyber hotel-offside.com, the site of the Angels of Stealth project.
At V2_, Rodney Place experimented with projections, transparency, and physical and virtual space. A live performance turned film: Foreign Affair, one of five feature-length, multimedia roomworks was rehearsed at V2_ and a short documentary realized. At V2_ Lab, new technological enhancements allowed performer Leila Anderson to determine the speed of the piece by controlling the projections.
Angels of Stealth is a M-m production, supported by the Goethe Institute Johannesburg and Beam Systems. Foreign Affair is produced by V2_, M-m and Goldfish Films.