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William Kentridge

An internationally renowned artist, William Kentridge was born in 1955 in South Africa. He lives and works in Johannesburg. His polymorphic work uses traditional techniques such as charcoal, Indian ink or collage, as well as video projection, cartoons or performance.

His installations, films and drawings often relate to politics and concern apartheid and the social complexity of South African society. Characters wandering or trapped in enclosed spaces, dark suburbs and obstructing buildings: his works evoke the consequences of colonialism and the fate of the men and women whose future has been spoken for. “I practice a political art that is ambiguous, contradictory, incomplete...” Although Kentridge portrays a world that is often dark, it is nonetheless tinged with poetry: the randomness of lines and movement evokes as much the tragedy of human destiny as it does a certain sense of fragility.

His work is present in the collections of the most prestigious contemporary art museums (MOMA in New York, Tate Modern in London, Centre Georges-Pompidou in Paris) and it is also regularly shown at the Marian Goodman gallery. In 2010, the itinerant retrospective “William Kentridge, cinq thèmes” (Jeu de Paume, Paris) presented the full scope of his œuvre.

At the Festival d’Avignon 2012 and the 13th Dokumenta in Kassel, William Kentridge presented an installation/show entitled The Refusal of Time, produced in collaboration with scientist Peter Galison, in which music, readings, dance, chants, videos, drawings and performances are combined, presenting the artist’s questions regarding the notion of time.

Published by Éditions Xavier Barral :


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