William Kentridge: Season 5 Preview (October 2009)



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How can I catch up on past seasons of Art21?
Past seasons of the Art:21—Art in the Twenty-First Century television series can be found on Hulu, on DVD from PBS and Amazon, through iTunes, and from Netflix
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What does Kentridge have to say about the idea of compassion?
On the subject of compassion in art, Kentridge says about his own drawing practice (in the forthcoming Season 5 book):

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What happens in Kentridge's segment in Compassion?
William Kentridge asks “how does one find a way of not necessarily illustrating the society that one lives in, but allowing what happens there to be part of the work?” Through the animated film Sobriety, Obesity, and Growing Old (1991), the segment introduces the characters Soho Eckstein and Felix Teitelbaum as a “self-portrait in the third person” that embodies, in dream-like scenarios, the complex roles of Jews in South Africa during apartheid.

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Where can I see more of his work before the October premiere?
William Kentridge is represented by Marian Goodman Gallery, New York and Paris. His touring retrospective — Five Themes — will be on view at The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Texas from July 12 - September 27, 2009 before traveling to the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach, Florida in November.

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This video is excerpted from the Season 5 episode Compassion premiering on Wednesday, October 7, 2009 at 10pm (ET) on PBS (check local listings).

Compassion features three artists—William Kentridge, Doris Salcedo, and Carrie Mae Weems—whose works explore conscience and the possibility of understanding and reconciling past and present, while exposing injustice and expressing tolerance for others.

William Kentridge was born in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1955, where he lives and works. Having witnessed first-hand one of the twentieth century’s most contentious struggles—the dissolution of apartheid—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. In a now-signature technique, he photographs his charcoal drawings and paper collages over time, recording scenes as they evolve. Working without a script or storyboard, he plots out each animated film, preserving every addition and erasure. Aware of myriad ways in which we construct the world by looking, Kentridge uses stereoscopic viewers and creates optical illusions with anamorphic projection to extend his drawings-in-time into three dimensions.

See "Kentridge" app for iPhone and iPod touch on iTunes

Read "Freud Futures" for the true aetiology of Kentridge's "The Nose."

See also a documentary film, "Karousel," about the creative sources of this anamorphic work.

New York NY 10023

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