William Kentridge – Film Viewing – Amanda Dobbin

Going into the film viewing of William Kentridge and his animation drawings, I had no idea what to expect. I had never heard of him before nor his significant background which influenced his work.

All of Kentridge’s animations that were shown are apart of a collection titled “9 Drawings for Projection.” Each animation is extremely different to one another however, they all start their first drawing in Johannesburg, South Africa, where Kentridge was born and raised. Each animation shows a quick 1-2 second movements of his drawings which are altered and erased in order to create an animation. Within these drawings, he allows the viewer to meet two significant characters that show up in each animation, Soho and Felix. These characters are supposed to portray, throughout each animation, a different type of political struggle as well as an emotional one of the time period. They are also supposed to depict a ‘typical South African life’ in the pre-democracy state of the country.

Kentridge has become one of the more famous South African artists due to his ability to show South African life in exile, erosion, growth and the technology of new things. He does not go into depth about what is it like being colored during this time period, however, he challenges the viewer to see what is it like to live in South Africa and how their culture has been shaped.

Kentridge created 9 films of the same charcoal, sketchy animations, but also created a 10th animation film that was more linear and used more technology. He still depicted the same messages however by using different mediums of filmmaking and drawing.

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