The other faces of William Kentridge

Last chance to see the Marian Goodman Gallery's William Kentridge exhibition and film 'Other Faces'
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William Kentridge, Drawing for 'Other Faces' (2011), Marian Goodman Gallery, New York

1 / 8 William Kentridge, Drawing for 'Other Faces' (2011), Marian Goodman Gallery, New York

William Kentridge, Drawing for 'Other Faces' (2011), Marian Goodman Gallery, New York

2 / 8 William Kentridge, Drawing for 'Other Faces' (2011), Marian Goodman Gallery, New York

William Kentridge, Drawing for 'Other Faces' (2011), Marian Goodman Gallery, New York

3 / 8 William Kentridge, Drawing for 'Other Faces' (2011), Marian Goodman Gallery, New York

William Kentridge, Drawing for 'Other Faces' (2011), Marian Goodman Gallery, New York

4 / 8 William Kentridge, Drawing for 'Other Faces' (2011), Marian Goodman Gallery, New York

William Kentridge, Drawing for 'Other Faces' (2011), Marian Goodman Gallery, New York

5 / 8 William Kentridge, Drawing for 'Other Faces' (2011), Marian Goodman Gallery, New York

'Other Faces' installation view, Marian Goodman Gallery, New York (2011). Photography by John Berens

6 / 8 'Other Faces' installation view, Marian Goodman Gallery, New York (2011). Photography by John Berens

'Other Faces' installation view, Marian Goodman Gallery, New York (2011). Photography by John Berens

7 / 8 'Other Faces' installation view, Marian Goodman Gallery, New York (2011). Photography by John Berens

'Other Faces' installation view, Marian Goodman Gallery, New York (2011). Photography by John Berens

8 / 8 'Other Faces' installation view, Marian Goodman Gallery, New York (2011). Photography by John Berens


Other Faces is William Kentridge's latest foray into cinematic animation and sees the return of Soho Eckstein, a character from previous films who is a Caucasian industrialist and land developer living in post-apartheid South Africa. The film is the newest addition to the artist’s Drawings for Projection series, which began in 1989 with Johannesburg, 2nd Greatest City After Paris. Kentridge’s drawings for the animation are being shown alongside at the exhibition at Marian Goodman Gallery in New York, providing a chance to see the working process of the artist (until 18 June).

Similar to other works in Kentridge’s oeuvre Other Faces is extremely context dependent. Kentridge grew up amidst the racial turmoil in Johannesburg, South Africa, and it is this racial tension which informs his art as the film attempts to narrate the socio-political traumas experienced by individuals in the wake of apartheid and civil war.

Eckstein’s story in Other Faces begins when he is involved in a car accident with a black preacher in front of a black African church in downtown Johannesburg. The ensuing argument attracts a large angry crowd of churchgoers and the film fades into Eckstein’s recollections of the event and his interaction with the preacher. Soon it becomes apparent that the argument between the two men is more a reflection of their fractured understanding of their country’s past rather than the actual incident.

Kentridge oscillates the narrative between the event and Eckstein’s thoughts using his unique style of animation. The artist only ever draws in charcoal with touches of blue and red pastel. His drawings are then progressively altered through erasure and overdrawing and given a few seconds on a 35mm film camera.

'Drawing is about fluidity and testing ideas,' explains Kentridge. It is thought in slow motion and a process in which notions are constantly modified and consolidated. These realisations of the artist’s contemplations are almost impressionistic; frenzied and hurried, they project his fleeting thoughts onto the viewer. The music, provided by fellow South African Philip Miller, evokes another layer of pathos, as Eckstein’s story unfolds.

Other Faces premiered at the Marian Goodman Gallery, New York, which has been exhibiting Kentridge’s work for over 20 years, and which will be shown until 18 June.

 

Annie An


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