For over thirty years, William Kentridge has been combining fine arts, performance, theatre, and opera to create dreamlike, political, and humanist works. His installations , films, and drawings often deal with the political situation in South Africa, apartheid, and the consequences of colonialism. This book gives an in-depth examination of his performance piece The Head & The Load, which explores the role of Africa during World War I. Throughout the war, more than one million Africans carried provisions and military equipment in hazardous conditions for British, French, and German troops at minimal or no pay.
Zanele Muholi: Somnyama Ngonyama, Hail the Dark Lioness is the long-awaited monograph from one of the most powerful visual activists of our time. The book features over ninety of Muholi’s evocative self-portraits, each image drafted from material props in Muholi’s immediate environment. A powerfully arresting collection of work, Muholi’s radical statements of identity, race, and resistance are a direct response to contemporary and historical racisms.
With more than twenty written contributions from curators, poets, and authors, alongside luxurious tritone reproductions of Muholi’s images, Zanele Muholi: Somnyama Ngonyama, Hail the Dark Lioness is as much a manifesto of resistance as it is an autobiographical, artistic statement.
Far more than being about a single artwork, this book participates in the myriad conversations and debates on the meaning of public art. The essays prise open critical questions about public space in Johannesburg; Oliver Barstow’s interviews with the various collaborators on the sculpture reveal the complexities and challenges of creating such a massive work in so short a time; and the images by John Hodgkiss of the making of the sculpture, alongside two photo essays suggest the metaphorical power of Fire Walker as well as the fragile hold of street vendors over their small share of city space.
Illustrated with approximately 235 color images and packaged with a DVD of selected videos, Animated Painting brings together some of the most compelling recent contemporary art to combine traditional conceptions of painting and drawing with the techniques and time-based elements of animation.
In the course of designing his recent production of Mozart’s “The Magic Flute, ” artist and animated filmmaker William Kentridge created a mechanized theater maquette. When he saw the miniature stage’s potential as sculpture, projection site, and installation, he began to imagine “Black Box, ” the freestanding structure whose development and installation are documented here. A movement-filled, visually charged piece, it is peopled with two-dimensional mechanical figures, completed with scenic elements and lit by flickering video. A digital projector displays animated films created from Kentridge’s charcoal drawings and sculptures. Kentridge considers his title term in three senses: a “black box” theater, a “chambre noire” as it relates to photography, and a “black box” flight data recorder, as used in airline disasters. The clandestine fourth reference may be to his ongoing exploration of German history and its convergence with South African history through Namibia, a former German colony that came under South African control prior to gaining its independence. “Black Box” evokes all that, and the joyful mechanics of pre-cinematic visual spectacles, magic lanterns, the camera obscura and the zoetrope. A unique and richly layered meditation on the act of seeing, on vision and experience, and on the nature of knowledge itself.
Why Should I Hesitate: Putting Drawings To Work – at Zeitz MOCAA – will offer a wide survey of Kentridge’s work, including early works, as well as newer pieces on view for the first time in South Africa. It will cover over 40 years of artistic production (1976 – 2019) in drawing, stop-frame animation, video, prints, sculpture, tapestry, and large-scale installation.
The title references Kentridge’s primary practice of drawing and how this core activity informs and enables his studio practice. It also references the impact of individual action on history and the reverse – how history shapes the contemporary and the future – and works as a commentary on various shifting hegemonies of power politics, economies, language and the authority to narrate history.
A Thousand Tales of Johannesburg is Harry Kalmer’s spellbinding ode to Johannesburg and its people. This is the story of Sara, who poses stiffly for a photo with her four children at Turffontein concentration camp in 1901, and of Abraham, who paints the street names on Johannesburg’s kerbs. It is the tale of their grandson Zweig, a young architect who has to leave Johannesburg when he falls in love with the wrong person, and of Marceline, a Congolese mother who flees to the city only to be caught up in a wave of xenophobic violence. Spanning more than a hundred years, A Thousand Tales of Johannesburg is a novel that documents and probes the lives of the inhabitants of this incomparable African city – the exiled, those returning from exile, and those who never left.
William Kentridge emerged as an artist during the apartheid regime in South Africa. Grounded in the violent absurdity of that period in his country’s history, his artworks draw connections between art, ideology, history and memory. Curated by the artist, this exhibition encourages viewers to trace visual and thematic links between diverse aspects of his practice, from his engagement with opera to his interest in early cinema, from his inimitable animated drawings to sculpture and works on paper.
Triumphs and Laments is not only a celebration of William Kentridge’s (born 1955) monumental frieze drawn along the banks of the Tiber River in Rome and the performance which inaugurated it, but a gorgeously produced guide to one of his most memorable and ambitious projects to date.
In June of 2010, William Kentridge asked Denis Hirson to join him in a public conversation at the opening of Cinq Thèmes, the artist’s retrospective exhibition at the Jeu du Paume in Paris. So fruitful was this event that the two decided to have further conversations, public and private, whenever the time and the occasion seemed right. Nine engagements followed, allowing them to explore at great length the many issues and themes arising from Kentridge’s work.
This book is more than just a simple record of The Nose. The opera serves as a springboard into a bracing conversation about how Kentridge’s methods serve his unique mode of expression as a narrative and political artist.
This October Files volume brings together critical essays and interviews that explore Kentridge’s work and shed light on the unique working processes behind his drawings, prints, stop-animation films, and theater works. he texts include an interview by the artist Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, curator of the first major retrospective of Kentridge’s work; an essay by Andreas Huyssen on the role of shadow-play in Kentridge’s film series 9 Drawing for Projection; and investigations of Kentridge’s work for opera and theater by Maria Gough, Joseph Leo Koerner, and Margaret Koster Koerner.