In celebration of Art21’s forthcoming feature film William Kentridge: Anything Is Possible — premiering October 21, 2010 at 10:00 p.m. ET on PBS (check local listings) — the Exclusive series is devoting the month of October to telling stories about Kentridge’s numerous artistic collaborators whom we’ve had the distinct privilege of meeting these past few years. This is the third of six episodes.
Episode #124: Weaver Marguerite Stephens discusses translating the artist William Kentridge’s original concepts into intricate, large-scale tapestries. Located in Diepsloot (a suburb of Johannesburg, South Africa), the Stephens Tapestry Studio employs a team of local weavers, spinners, and dyers who work on vertical looms using mohair spun in Swaziland.
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.
William Kentridge is featured in the Season 5 (2009) episode Compassion of the Art in the Twenty-First Century television series on PBS. Watch full episodes online via PBS Video, Hulu, or iTunes (link opens application).