Tuesday, 26 January 2010

William Kentridge

Stills from the charcoal animations of South African artist William Kentridge. As a Jew of Lithuanian descent living in Johannesburg, and with a father who was on the defence team at the Rivonia Trial, it is perhaps inevitable that the politics of apartheid are alluded to in his work alongside broader themes of memory and loss. Using a single sheet of paper and a near-static camera for each scene, movement is created by erasing and re-drawing, leaving visible traces across the screen as the film progresses.

"In the same way that there is a human act of dismembering the past there is a natural process in the terrain through erosion, growth, dilapidation that also seeks to blot out events. In South Africa this process has other dimensions. The very term 'new South Africa' has within it the idea of a painting over the old, the natural process of dismembering, the naturalization of things new."

It would be nice if these were reissued on DVD at some point, but for now it looks like we'll have to make do with YouTube.

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