How we make sense of the World

In today’s lecture with Alison Rowley we looked at artist and animator William Kentridge.

Born 28 April 1955, William is a South African artist best known for his prints, drawings, and animated films. These are constructed by filming a drawing, making erasures and changes, and filming it again. He continues this process meticulously, giving each change to the drawing a quarter of a second to two seconds’ screen time. A single drawing will be altered and filmed this way until the end of a scene. These palimpsest-like drawings are later displayed along with the films as finished pieces of art. 

Kentridge’s work is well known as apart of Documenta. Kenridge often includes his South African heritage in his work in terms of content, however interestingly doesn’t focus on documenting South Africa, but instead himself making a drawing. His work is often in Black and White which acts as a form of political undertone regarding South Africa.

It took Kentridge a while to decide what he wanted to be. He began as an artist and commonly made drawings. He then moved onto acting, before he quickly changed to animating. Kentridge described himself as a failure in all these approaches. He then began to realise that he doesn’t need to categorize himself as one thing and instead can work in a variety of media. However, if he had to label himself, he would choose an artist.

Kentridge’s father was a lawyer and judge therefore he must have got some pressure following in the same direction, however I admire Kentridge doing what he wanted and finding himself. Fortunately, he did come from a wealthy background so his capability to try new things and slow down was quite easy and a privilege that not all of us have.

Although I am not particularly interested in Animation, I found this lecture moderately interesting. More so, in William Kentridge than his work. He had a really great attitude and it was fascinating to hear about his career choices. The previous two lectures I have had with Alison now have been Photography and Animation; both have been not bad, but I look forward to having a lecture based on design or a designer.