South African Projections: Films by William Kentridge

May 2 - September 19, 2010

South African William Kentridge’s art is internationally acclaimed for its dramatic narrative invention and for its extraordinary technique. Grounded in recent South African history, Kentridge’s complex narratives address personal and universal concerns of love, greed, jealousy, and memory.

Acclaimed for the dramatic quality of his work, South African artist William Kentridge transforms the traditional medium of drawing by filming drawn, erased and redrawn images thereby creating a visual narrative. Presented as film, the hand of the draftsman is seen in the charcoal lines, smudges, and silhouettes—leaving traces of time across the moving images.

The four films in this exhibition, part of the Drawings for Projection series, depict the fictional Jewish characters Soho Eckstein and Felix Teitelbaum, who begin as alteregos of each other. While the latter is initially part self-portrait, the artist complicates this, as protagonist and antagonist exchange attributes as the sequence progresses. The characters metaphorically play out the social, political, and moral legacy of apartheid as they go about their lives. Kentridge’s filmed narratives explore political themes in recent South African history, while addressing personal and universal concerns; the nature of memory, greed, love, and jealousy.

Drawings for Projection series

Mine 5 minutes, 49 seconds
Johannesburg, 2nd Greatest City after Paris 8 minutes, 2 seconds
Sobriety, Obesity & Growing Old 8 minutes, 15 seconds
Monument 3 minutes, 11 seconds

South African Projections: Films by William Kentridge is presented simultaneously with South African Photographs: David Goldblatt.

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