William Kentridge Exhibition

I was still immersed in this idea of leaving traces of my life behind when I went to an exhibition of William Kentridge. As a South African, who lived through the apartheid era, his work is highly political. His approach captures the ephemeral and impermanent nature of life. Rather than starting with a clear idea of what he wants to create he allows the image to emerge through the relationship between his mediums – often charcoal or Indian ink on paper.

Drawing is the basis of what he does. It is about the simple use of charcoal or Indian ink on paper, but also about the sense of not having a script or a storyboard, he says. ”And it’s the same when you’re making a film. Letting something develop organically, in this constant backwards and forwards from the material that’s drawn and what could still be drawn on top of it.” (downloaded on 28/04/2012 from  http://www.theage.com.au/entertainment/art-and-design/drawn-hung-and-courted-20120307-1ukbs.html#ixzz1tVQIjQgY

Kentridge’s way of creating moving images is to make a drawing and then photograph it, alter the drawing, re-photograph it and repeat the sequence scores of times, shifting figures or objects by small increments and copious erasures. The movement of anything leaves an ominous trace, as the presence in a previous location has to be rubbed out, which is never perfectly achieved. (downloaded on 28/04/2012 from http://www.theage.com.au/entertainment/art-and-design/unsettling-images-of-inhumanity-20120424-1xj7h.html#ixzz1tVFdXvXt)

His method of erasing what has gone before and applying the new image on top of the trace of what is left behind resonates very powerfully with what emerged for me through the creation of this small story book.


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