William Kentridge: Adya Zecha

Last nights viewing of 10 of Kentridge’s short films was especially enlightening as it intersected with his exhibition in the Trout Gallery. The ten works we saw depicted themes from the apartheid as it was happening and the physical and emotional toll it took on Johannesburg’s society. I found many similarities in Kentridge’s style between the first 9 films that we watched, from his gestural style to the overall frantic pace. Charcoal as a medium in his films worked well because of its temporary state and because it is easily manipulated which aided his use of erasing marks. By erasing areas section by section to create movement, Kentridge’s marks left a ghostly effect which showed the progression of movement of the space travelled through which added another layer of dimension to the film itself.

Kentridge’s last film that we saw was created 10 years after the 9th film and was after the apartheid. Certain aspects of his style remained the same however on the whole, his style seemed to have changed significantly. His drawings were less sketchy and became more thought out and planned, all his drawings were more elaborate and detailed, whether this was because of more time spent on them or just a shift in his personal style. Additionally, because this was created 10 years after the last, the technology used was much more proficient, allowing his films to be more animated and visibly interesting.

I very much enjoyed all of Kentridge’s films and look forward to another viewing next week.

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