William Kentridge | “Breathe”

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Shot in his Johannesburg studio in South Africa, William Kentridge reveals the process behind the video work Breathe — a component of the larger project (REPEAT) from the beginning / Da Capo (2008) that debuted at the Teatro La Fenice in Venice and at the nearby Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa in San Barnaba, Italy.

Having witnessed first-hand one of the twentieth century’s most contentious struggles—the dissolution of apartheid—William Kentridge brings the ambiguity and subtlety of personal experience to public subjects most often framed in narrowly defined terms. Using film, drawing, sculpture, animation, and performance, he transmutes sobering political events into powerful poetic allegories. Aware of myriad ways in which we construct the world by looking, Kentridge often uses optical illusions to extend his drawings-in-time into three dimensions.

The traveling exhibition William Kentridge: Five Themes is on view at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, February 24–May 17, 2010. Kentridge’s The Nose, a multimedia production of Shostakovich’s adaptation of Gogol’s story, debuts at The Metropolitan Opera in New York, March 5-25, 2010. Get a chance to hear the artist speak about his recent projects, in conversation with Paul Holdengraber, as part of the New York Public Library’s series of talks Live from the NYPL on March 12th.

William Kentridge is featured in the Season 5 (2009) episode Compassion of the Art:21—Art in the Twenty-First Century television series on PBS.

VIDEO | Producer: Wesley Miller & Nick Ravich. Camera: Bob Elfstrom. Sound: Ray Day. Editor: Paulo Padilha & Mark Sutton. Artwork Courtesy: William Kentridge.

Contributor
Wesley Miller is the Associate Curator at Art21. Miller co-curates the Art in the Twenty-First Century television series. He is also co-creator of the series New York Close Up.
  1. jamie says:

    It reminds me of watching anthroposophists dropping eyedroppers of colored water into giant tanks of water and watching the swirls. Of course THEY were seeing the secrets of the universe… this is just pretty.

    Reply

  2. javari.com says:

    For the true origination, source, and aetiology, of Kentridge’s forthcoming direction of Shostakovich “The Nose” at Met Opera, New York March 2010, see “Freud Futures” by Jennifer Arlene Stone on “iMishMashUps” App; and “Kentridge” App
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    For Kentridge’s film instruction, see “iAuteurs” App
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