William Kentridge | “Return”

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Shot in his Johannesburg studio in South Africa, William Kentridge reveals the process and unusual presentation of the video work Return — a component of the larger project (REPEAT) from the beginning / Da Capo (2008) — which had its debut on the fire screen of Teatro La Fenice opera house in Venice, 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.

Watch Kentridge’s new trailer for The Nose below.

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. Interview: Susan Sollins. Camera: Bob Elfstrom. Sound: Ray Day. Editor: Mary Ann Toman. Artwork Courtesy: William Kentridge.

Contributor
Wesley Miller is the associate curator at ART21. Miller co-curates the television series Art in the Twenty-First Century. He is also co-creator of the series New York Close Up.
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