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William Kentridge deploys his political puppet art at Queen Sofia

The museum review the theatrical and operatic production of the South African creator, awarded with the prize Princess of Asturias of the arts 2017

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William Kentridge deploys his political puppet art at Queen Sofia
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  • South African artist William Kentridge, Princess of Asturias Prize for Arts
  • "Fortunately I failed as a painter and was reduced to making drawings"

Says William Kentridge (Johannesburg, 1955) that doubt is only reliable state of mind in a deeply uncertain world. Installed on it, last prize Princess of Asturias of arts speaks without hesitation on eve of inauguration of his exhibition at Museo Reina Sofía: "I am interested in a political art, i.e. an art of ambiguity, contradiction, incomplete gestures and "Uncertain ends."

Distrustful of specialization, has always celebrated aestic pollution that arises when artistic forms intersect and feed. Where something hybrid appears, Kentridge sees a field of possibilities. That is why he has always tried to inhabit outskirts of conventional. and hence his story. He studied politics, African studies and art at University of Witwatersrand and Johannesburg art Foundation. Almost at same time, he began collaborating with Junction Avenue Theatre, an openly political and critical company with aparid, where he made his first interventions as an actor, director and Scenographer, which he later extended in Paris. Its popularity came with cinematographic proposals of early nineties, manual drawing animations, shot in 16 mm and without digital support, which are basis of all its production. Hence international recognition in Documenta X, Biennale of Venice or Havana to a work understood as a flow of narratives, which combines drawing with cinema, collage, printmaking, sculpture or video art. And, in a special way, with atre, opera and performance.

They now surrender Reina Sofía Museum with exhibition Basta and surplus. For first time plastic production of Kentridge is explored from speculation and role of artist as director of scene. The mixture of languages and shapes of ir scenographies, where y coexist ir drawings to project with puppets, actors and musicians, derives in a sort of carnival where idea of hierarchy is nullified. We see it with plays Woyzeck on Highveld (1992), Faustus in Africa! (1995) and Ubu and Truth Commission (1997), as well as in operas Il Ritorno D'Ulisse (1998), The Nose (2010), Lulu (2015) and most recent, Wozzeck (2017), premiered this summer at Salzburg Festival. All of m, stories of a single protagonist, serve Kentridge to talk about how complex human relationships are. The characters are victims or executioners of encorsetadas structures that demonstrate burdens of authoritarianism and corruption. After m, re are exasperation of oppressed multitudes and breakdown of a dystopian landscape, that of its native Johannesburg, to which it returns again and again.

Enlarge photo model of Kentridge for opera ' Wozzeck ' (2016).

Kentridge suspects stories about colonialism, capitalism, aparid and its dissolution. It is included in uncertainty as it is shown by drawing, undoing its images in faltering descriptions. It has always been starting point: "Drawing is a completely physical activity, performance." Sometimes it starts with whole body and you work from waist out, with a lot of gestures. Sometimes movements depart from shoulders at times, if it is a small drawing only from elbow or even wrist. And if you work with something tiny, movement comes from knuckles. The movement of body is a way of generating ideas, he explains.

The sample, which includes a large selection of drawings and films linked to six scenic pieces, transports many of m. Kentridge extrapolates stories of South Africa rewriting original scripts to make m permeable to reality. At times, he talks about time as if he were an elastic substance that can be sculpted. Or times he walks through closed space of his studio filming in that wandering, in almost manic jumps. Do you want to see yourself later to try to understand each or? The anachronism of using shadow Theatre in this technological age seems to be part of that search. "The artist takes fragments of world, reorganizes m and builds a possible coherence of world, of ourselves." I am personally interested in way in which terrain hides its own history and its correspondence with way in which memory operates. The difficulty we have to retain passions, impressions, ways of seeing things, way in which what seems so indelibly engraved in our memories also fades, becomes vague, is reflected in way ground itself is incapable "To retain events of which he witnessed," he argues.

The world of William Kentridge appears here as a credible illusion in which recurrent motives of his work are built, deconstructed and rebuilt before our eyes. A cat appears turning into a gas mask or a megaphone, and artist restarting what y rehearsed dadaism, surrealism, founding cinema and constructivism and thinking about how to make new art drafts politically.

Stereoscopic Photogravures to explain world of today one of stereoscopic photogravures of Kentridge.

Coinciding with exhibition at Reina Sofía Museum, William Kentridge presents next November 2 in Ivorypress Book of artist Tummelplatz, a project in two volumes and nine editions, which contains twenty stereoscopic photogravures made by The artist. It responds to this stage of experimentation on image, before cinema, that has always fascinated him. "The idea has been to create a virtual pop-up, where every double page of book has two stereoscopic images that, seen through a viewfinder, generate an illusion of depth." They are like images historically used by cartographers. So, what you see as drawings you experience as objects of paper and charcoal in space. It is a very gestural drawing; The landscapes and skies are made of dusty fabrics, rocks are crumpled paper and trees are paper clips tucked into charcoal sticks. And re is a mixture of thoughts and eros in some of images. I refer to a psychoanalytic aspect from which repression is understood as a great effort to conceal desires of libido and how this defines our relationship with world, he explains.


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