Palazzo Strozzi
  Bill Viola, Christian Nold, Yves Netzhammer
Teresa Margolles, Valerio Magrelli, William Kentridge
Katharina Grosse, Andrea Ferrara, Elisa Biagini
Maurice Benayoun, Antonella Anedda
 
   
  WILLIAM KENTRIDGE
 
   
  William Kentridge arouses strong empathy in the spectator with his series of animated works. Kentridge employs narrative elements, graphics and music to generate fascination and particular emotional involvement. He uses a technique similar to the traditional animation process. Kentridge hand-draws all images with charcoal and pastel, but instead of drawing each movement on a separate sheet he realizes the images always on the same sheet of paper. He uses a key frame in which he erases single elements, then re-draws them, creating hence a new frame. In this way the figures and stories the artist draws always emerge from the traces of the previous drawing creating a unique and evocative atmosphere. Time, change and absence seam to be the constant themes of Kentridge’s work, themes which metaphorically are represented by the continuous alternation between erasure and redrawing. The setting of the stories presented is South Africa during Apartheid. Kentridge chooses a set of symbols and figures that can be found in all his videos of this period: an African woman, Soho, a middle-aged businessman, Felix, an alter ego of the artist himself, the African landscape, a smoking factory, African songs, water, a fish or a mirror. The characters evoke an emotional and political struggle that
reflects the life of many South Africans during the years of racial separation, but at the same time we recognise recurring themes and the symbolic elements, including death, existential solitude, love and the greatness of nature which are born out of the artist’s poetic imagination and inner being, but easily come to form part of shared emotional baggage and understanding that becomes universal. All elements are in a constant flow, bodies morphs into landscapes, animals turn into objects; everything seams to be in a continuous state of transition revealing a free flow of associations. The animations seam to follow similar patterns as the brain does right before falling asleep, letting images emerge from its memory in loose sequences and blending them into each other to let them disappear again.
“My drawings don’t start with a ‘beautiful mark’. It has to be a mark of something out there in the world. It doesn’t have to be an accurate drawing, but it has to stand for an observation, not something that is abstract, like an emotion.” (William Kentridge)
 
 
 
   
 

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