New York, San Diego

William Kentridge

The Drawing Center/Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego

The story of South Africa in the twentieth century is the story of apartheid. The political turmoil and tragic consequences of that oppressive system haunt the work of South African artist William Kentridge. “I have never tried,” the artist has said, “to make illustrations of apartheid, but the drawings and films are certainly spawned by and feed off the brutalized society left in its wake.” Kentridge’s art entails submitting a handful of his sensuous, black-and-white charcoal drawings (usually twenty or so) to a succession of erasures and additions, altering and transforming each work multiple times as he photographs them. The result is loosely narrative films consisting of dreamlike images. Through the animation process, people metamorphose into landscapes and everyday things appear and disappear, mutate into other objects, or become abstract forms. Music and onomatopoeic sounds accompany

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