Boxed in…

Clifford Young will spend the next few days in a perspex box at the Waterfront.

Three actors have embarked on a six-day performance art project in which they will spend 15 hours a day in perspex boxes, symbolic of the caged reality of the modern human condition.

The Cape Town leg of the project will take place until Tuesday April 20 at the V&A Waterfront’s amphitheatre.

The other leg of the project is happening in Johannesburg.

The project is based on the concept that before lockdown, people spent 90% of their time indoors and now – with remote working from home – they are even more online and far from nature.

The social experiment is intended to encourage passers-by to question this way of life.

Cape Town performer Clifford Young.

Performer Clifford Young, who grew up in Strandfontein, has been trapped in the perspex box at the Waterfront everyday from 6am to 9pm and will be released on Tuesday.

He said so far, the experience inside the box has been enlightening. “My anxiety about being watched has completely dissipated.”

He said the experience has given him an appreciation for “just how blessed we are to be given freedom and environments that we are allowed to thrive in – especially in Cape Town”.

“I’m hoping that when people see me in the box, and they watch me leave it, it gives people the feeling of ’Why can’t I (leave my box)’?”

He said in preparation for the project, he spent lots of time outdoors rather than indoors, because he felt like there was a light at the end of the tunnel after the project.

“I got myself into a mindset where I appreciated outside, so I could understand how being trapped in a box made me feel lacklustre at times or unmotivated. It’s a constant journey and necessary if we want to understand how important freedom is.”

Young said the concept of people doing something out of the box resonated with him. “It’s brave. Inspiring people to get out of the box really hits home with me.”

The end of the art project will mark the launch of a digital content series called Free Range Humans, which will air on YouTube.

The series follows eight people who left their indoor lives to follow their passions and live an authentic, purpose-driven life close to nature.