Archive for the 'William Kentridge' Category

03
Mar
12

William Kentridge in Melbourne at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI)

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Wise words from the master. Paul Strand said that the work becomes more your own once you remove ego out of the equation. Perhaps not remove ego, but in Jung’s sense integrate ego into the Self through the process of individuation. Then a more holistic, less grasping art might appear.

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“One often thinks of seeing as a completely natural activity – your eyes open, there is the world in front of you, you’re not doing anything, just seeing. But what the studio and the process of making images demonstrates is that the activity of seeing is about constructing the world, constructing coherence… We are very involved in building coherence, in taking fragments that come from all places and acting as if there is a single coherent narrative.”

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“I think to be an artist one does need a lack of self-consciousness, not thinking too hard about ‘What am I saying? Who am I?’. Who you are is going to be what you’ve made. There’s no escaping from who you are when the work is finally put together. If a work is pretentious, that tells you who you are. If it’s cautious, that tells you who you are. Whatever the subject matter, in the end it becomes about the person making it.”

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William Kentridge quoted in Miriam Cosic. “Drawn from Life,” in Weekend Australian Review. Saturday March 3rd, 2012, p.6.

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William Kentridge: Pain & Sympathy

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In Conversation with William Kentridge
Tue 6 Mar 2012, 6.30pm at ACMI, Melbourne
SOLD OUT

William Kentridge: Anti-Entropy
Thu 8 Mar 2012, 6.30pm at ACMI, Melbourne

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Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI)
Federation Square, Flinders St
Melbourne VIC 3000
T: (03)8663 2200

ACMI website

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08
Jul
09

Review: ‘Morphed’ by Emma Davies at Craft Victoria, Melbourne

Exhibition dates: 19th June – 25th July, 2009

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Emma Davies. 'Sekai' (be humorous') 2009

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Emma Davies
‘Sekai’ (meaning ‘be humorous’)
2009

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Emma Davies. 'Tariro' (means 'hope') 2009

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Emma Davies
‘Tariro’ (means ‘hope’)
2009

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'Rutendo' (detail - means 'faith') 2009

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Emma Davies
‘Rutendo’ (detail – means ‘faith’)
2009

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A stimulating exhibition by Emma Davies at Craft Victoria of polypropylene industrial netting and packaging that has been heated, moulded, sculpted and literally morphed into these fantastical sculptures, inspired by the artist’s experiences when visiting Johannesburg in South Africa as part of the South Project. Davies evokes the mysterious and the bizarre in her figures, making the commonplace into something uncommon, taking her themes from the relics of bush medicine present in the street markets: the medicine market of Johannesburg full of dried animal bones, skulls, skins and bottles of alchemistic objects.

Despite their comforting South African names (translated into English as ‘hope’, ‘faith’, ‘quiet, tranquil’, ‘lady’, ‘chief’, ‘prince’ for example) these extremely individual figurative ‘presences’ have a powerful melancholic affect on the viewer. Their elongated long legged and armed, no necked forms create dark eyeless creatures that crouch in rusted boxes or sit on wooden posts with their legs and arms hanging, folded. They seem lonely and sad despite their titles, perhaps reflecting the harsh realities of a life of poverty on the streets of Soweto.
Two figures on wooden blocks seem to walk aimlessly, placed on large rough industrial tables with huge wheels while another figure sits up a rusted ladder propped against the wall. A group of figures are clustered together on top of large wooden posts of different heights, some with arms round each other for comfort, others with black or red feathers sprouting from shoulders, legs or wearing a red feathered skirt. These creatures create a marvellous group of contemplative wandering minstrels while behind them their eerie shadows fall on the gallery wall.

The crystalline-like nature to the surface of the creatures, like sparkling coal, reminds me of the work of William Kentridge, his white industrial protagonist Felix haunted by images of black workers deep underground mining coal (see Mine (1991) where his coffee plunger goes down into the ground through the bodies of black people). Some of the figures bat like ears also bring to mind the work of Francisco de Goya and specifically his work ‘Los Caprichos’ (The Whims), plate 43 from the series of 80 etchings published in 1799 titled ‘The Dream of Reason Produces Monsters’. The artist described the collection as an exposé of “the innumerable foibles and follies to be found in any civilized society, and from the common prejudices and deceitful practices which custom, ignorance, or self-interest have made usual.”1

As Goya began to sympathize with the suffering of the peasants so Davies seems to have been transformed by what she saw around her during her visit, trying to make sense of a foreign culture, dreaming the sleep of reason but surrounded and invaded by a world in which the natural and unnatural has fused and morphed.

I really liked this exhibition and the presence of these figures. I am obviously not alone as the show is almost sold out. A visit to these disturbing, enfolding creatures is recommended.

Marcus Bunyan for the Art Blart blog

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Francisco de Goya. 'Los Caprichos', plate 43 from the series 'El sueño de la razón produce monstros' 1799

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Francisco de Goya
‘Los Caprichos’ plate 43 from the series ‘El sueño de la razón produce monstros’
1799

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Emma Davies. 'Zola' (detail - means 'quiet, tranquil') 2009

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Emma Davies
‘Zola’ (detail – means ‘quiet, tranquil’)
2009

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L-R-7-8-9-10-11-12-small

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Emma Davies
Group with from left to right  ‘Enitan’ (person of story), ‘Ntombi’ (lady), ‘Kgosi’ (chief), ‘Nkosana’ (prince), ‘Lucky’ and ‘Alaba’ (second child after twins)
2009

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Emma Davies. 'Nkosana' (detail - means 'prince') 2009

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Emma Davies
‘Nkosana’ (detail – means ‘prince’)
2009

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Craft Victoria
31 Flinders Lane, Melbourne, Victoria 3000

Opening hours: Monday 12 – 5pm, Tues – Sat 10 – 5pm

Craft Victoria website

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All photographs courtesy of Craft Victoria (thankyou Amy Brand!) and taken by their photographer Alexia Skok.

1. Quotation from Future Directed website

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08
Apr
09

Exhibition: ‘William Kentridge: Five Themes’ at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)

Exhibiiton dates: 14th March – 31st May 2009

 

One of my favourite artists in the world. His technique – the palimpsestic nature of his practice where the history, memories and spaces of previous drawings are overwritten again and again on a single piece of paper without their ever being lost (unlike traditional animation techniques) – is amazing. His use of drawing, animation and the camera to record narratives of connection always has personal and archetypal themes – love, loss, bigotry, big business, persecution, reconciliation and social conflict in the stories of his homeland South Africa. His perspective on the world, his knowledge of books and philosophy, his understanding that stories exist as faint, legible remains completes the perception that he is an artist drawn to the line of the world. His work is moving and compassionate as all great art should be.

 

William Kentridge. Drawing for the film Stereoscope [Felix Crying]' 1998–99

 

William Kentridge
‘Drawing for the film Stereoscope [Felix Crying]‘
1998–99

 

“Combining the political with the poetic, William Kentridge’s work has made an indelible mark on the contemporary art scene. Dealing with subjects as sobering as apartheid and colonialism, Kentridge often imbues his art with dreamy, lyrical undertones or comedic bits of self-deprecation, making his powerful messages both alluring and ambivalent. Perhaps best known for his stop-motion films of charcoal drawings, the internationally renowned South African artist also works in etching, collage, sculpture, and the performing arts, opera in particular. This exhibition explores five primary themes that have engaged Kentridge over the last three decades through a comprehensive selection of his work from the 1980s to the present. Concentrating on his most recent production and including many pieces that have not been seen in the United States, the exhibition reveals as never before the full arc of his distinguished career.”

Text from the SFMOMA website

 

William Kentridge videos from the SFMOMA exhibition website

 

Multimedia videos that illuminate William Kentridge’s creative process, his characters and the use of music in his “drawings for projection.”

 

“Although his hand-drawn animations are often described as films, Kentridge himself prefers to call them “drawings for projection.” He makes them using a distinctive technique in which he painstakingly creates, erases, and reworks charcoal drawings that are photographed and projected as moving image. Movement is generated within the image, by the artist’s hand; the camera serves merely to record its progression. As such, the animations explore a tension between material object and time-based performance, uniquely capturing the artist’s working process while telling poignant and politically urgent stories.”

Text from Artdaily.org website

 

 

 

More videos of William Kentridge work are available on You Tube

 

 

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

151 Third Street
San Francisco CA 94103
Tel: 415.357.4000

SFMOMA website

William Kentridge on Wikipedia

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Dr Marcus Bunyan

Dr Marcus Bunyan is an Australian artist and writer. His work explores the boundaries of identity and place. He writes the Art Blart blog which reviews exhibitions in Melbourne, Australia and posts exhibitions from around the world. He has a Dr of Philosophy from RMIT University, Melbourne and is currently studying a Master of Art Curatorship at The University of Melbourne.

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