previews

London

“William Kentridge: Thick Time”

Whitechapel Gallery
77 - 82 Whitechapel High Street
September 21 - January 15

Curated by Iwona Blazwick and Sabine Breitwieser

Stretching time. Unwinding it. Reminding us how we all dance against the drumbeat of our ticking hearts. William Kentridge has claimed for the past three decades that his work is “all about time.” This exhibition, named for the Bakhtinian processes the artist uses to describe the viscous temporalities of his studio, plumbs the depths of Kentridgean time. His clock is, of course, set to the willful time of southern Africa—its peculiar dilations and coagulations, its leaps and surges, its refusals of Greenwich’s imperial cadence. A rich lineup of voices (Homi K. Bhabha, Achille Mbembe, and more) will provide meditations around the exhibition’s six landmark works, all made between 2003 and 2015, including O Sentimental Machine, which stars Leon Trotsky, exiled in Istanbul, spouting endless messages to the “masses” he perceived (with fateful narrowness) as sentimental machines. Travels to the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk, Denmark, Feb. 16–June 18, 2017; Museum der Moderne Salzburg Mönchsberg, Austria, July 22–Nov. 5, 2017; Whitworth, Manchester, UK, 2018.