William Kentridge

Universal Archive and Journey to the Moon

Opening Reception: Friday, October 27, 5:00-7:00pm

October 27, 2917–February 17, 2018

Reception: October 27, 5–7pm

UNIVERSAL ARCHIVE (2011). For this project, contemporary South African artist William Kentridge presents a series of linocut prints—of coffee pots, typewriters, cats, trees, nudes—printed on dictionary pages. The images show a gradual transformation from a recognizable form to one that resembles calligraphic brush strokes. The progression from the familiar to the abstract suggests the creative process, with all its unexpected and unplanned developments. Such chance developments run contrary to notions of reason and rational thought, suggested by the authoritative-looking text of the dictionary pages on which the images are printed, and raise skepticism about certainty, the creative process, and knowledge construction.

JOURNEY TO THE MOON (2003) is a stop-action/animated film that focuses on Kentridge's studio work in a "post-anti-apartheid" world. In Journey to the Moon, which alludes to Georges Méliès classic Voyage dans la Lune (1902), Kentridge contemplates the future of his work in South Africa along the lines of a journey within his own studio. Journey to the Moon will be projected continuously in the gallery next to Universal Archive.

10 DRAWINGS FOR PROJECTION. In 1989, Kentridge began work on a series of short, animated films made during the tumultuous political and social changes in South Africa under the last years of apartheid. The films address issues of human indifference in the face of cruelty, repressed memory, nostalgia, and a future without the poetic. Conceived as drawings documented over time, the films were made without a preconceived script or story board. Their subject, however, evolved over the course of the films to focus on the lives of two fictional characters: the Johannesburg mining magnate Soho Eckstein and his antagonist Felix Teitlebaum. For these animated films, Kentridge worked in charcoal, making successive drawings on the same sheet of paper, so each previous mark is erased, but only partially. This technique produces an evocative, palimpsest quality that suggests memory, the passing of time and the act of drawing.

Johannesburg, 2nd Greatest City after Paris (1989) 8:02
Monument (1990) 3:11
Mine (1991) 5:50
Sobriety, Obesity & Growing Old (1991) 8:22
Felix in Exile (1994) 8:43
History of the Main Complaint (1996) 5:50
WEIGHING...and WANTING (1998) 6:20
Stereoscope (1999) 8:22
Tide Table (2003) 8:50
Other Faces (2011) 10:00

10 Drawings for Projection will be screened on November 1, 5-6:30 p.m. Room 235, Weiss Center for the Arts.

William Kentridge: Universal Archive is organized for tour by the Gund Gallery at Kenyon College and is made possible, in part, by contributions from Alva Greenberg ’74, the Gund Gallery Board of Directors and Ohio Arts Council.

William Kentridge’s films are provided courtesy of Marian Goodman Gallery, New York/London.