William Kentridge

Jeu de Paume, Concorde, Paris

In the 30° heat this afternoon I found shelter in the gallery space hosting a retrospective of the South African’s work. I had already encountered a few of his short films on YouTube, but the exhibition illuminated Kentridge’s rare skill of traversing the boundaries of art media. The artist does not let practise limit but liberate his creativity, and thus there results a free circulation between theatre, photography, film and drawing. Perhaps Learning the Flute (2003) best encapsulates this: a stopframe animation filmed from a blackboard, then projected back onto one standing in the room. Although the show somewhat continues Kentridge’s traditional interest in political themes – look out for What Will Come (has already come) – the introspective pieces were much more challenging for me. With manipulations of time and tone, Kentridge explores the dynamics of his creative environs in Artist in the Studio. The chaos of simultaneous clips adds to the frustration, self mistrust and stress encapsulated in the self portraits. Self aggrandisement is replaced by self-effacement, product by process.

If you are in Paris before the 5th September I implore you to visit- there is no chance of disappointment.

Invisible Mending, Artist in the Studio, 2003

sketch for film design

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