N+2: William Kentridge: Animated Shorts (1989-1999)

22 abril 2012

William Kentridge: Animated Shorts (1989-1999)

Cortos de Animación de William Kentridge (1989-1999)
Sin diálogos/No dialogue

Descripto como el "artista más celebrado en emerger en Sudáfrica en la era post-apartheid", los fuertes films de Kentridge -nacidos de las complejas realidades sociales e históricas de su tierra natal- exploran el paso del tiempo, las huellas que permanecen y la memoria que se suscita, es y se va cuando cerramos los ojos en el pasado.

William Kentridge nació en Johannesburgo en 1955. En 1976 se graduó en Política y Estudios Africanos por la Universidad de Witwatersrand. Posteriormente estudió en la Johannesburg Art Foundation, donde enseñó grabado dos años después.

Durante 1981 y 1982 estudió mimo y teatro en la École Jacques Lecoq de París. Ha trabajado en el teatro como actor, diseñador y director, y fue miembro fundador de la Junction Avenue Teatre Company.

En 1979 realiza su primera exposición individual en la Market Gallery de Johannesburgo, continuando con sus exposiciones de dibujo y grabado durante los años 80.

En los años ochenta trabajó como director de arte en películas y series para la televisión. En 1989 William Kentridge realizó su primer trabajo de animación con “Johannesburg 2nd Greatest City Alter Paris”, de la serieDrawings for projection. En esta obra emplea una técnica característica en su obra: dibujos realizados con carboncillo son implementados sucesivamente en la misma hoja, al contrario de la técnica tradicional, en la que cada movimiento se dibuja en una hoja separada. Así los vídeos y películas de Kentridge conservan las huellas de los dibujos realizados anteriormente.

Con la misma técnica, Kentridge realiza las animaciones Sobriety, obesity and growing old (1991), Félix in exile(1994), History of the main complaint (1996) y Stereoscope (1999). En 1999, realiza Shadow procession con recortes de papel negro sobre hojas de libros y mapas.

En 1992 organiza su primer proyecto teatral junto con la Handspring Puppet Company, Woyzeck on the Highveld. Combina los títeres y la animación, consiguiendo numerosos premios teatrales por su trabajo.

Expone en Documenta X, Kassel (1997); en la 24ª Bienal de São Paulo (1998); y en la Bienal de Venecia (1999). Realiza exposiciones individuales en Londres, Nueva York, Sidney y Johannesburgo.

William Kentridge vive y trabaja en Johannesburgo.

Films incluídos en esta recopilación:

Johannesburg, 2nd Greatest City after Paris (1989)
Monument (1990)
Mine (1991)
Sobriety, Obesity and Growing Old (1991)
Felix in Exile (1994)
History of the Main Complaint (1996)
Weighing.and Wanting (1997)

Felix in Exile (1994) fue elegido por ASIFA entre los 50 mejores cortos de animación de la historia.

William Kentridge, born in Johannesburg in 1955, is one of South Africa's most world renowned artists and animators. His father, Sydney Kentridge, was one of the defence team for Nelson Mandela at the notorious Rivonia Trial which resulted in Mandela’s 25 year imprisonment. As a result he grew up very aware of South African politics. After completing a degree in Politics and African Studies, he studied Fine Art and then Mime and Theatre at the L'École Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq in Paris. Between 1975 and 1991, he was acting and directing in Johannesburg's Junction Avenue Theatre Company. In the 1980s, he worked on television films and series as art director. 

In 1989, Kentridge created his first animated work, Johannesburg, 2nd Greatest City After Paris, in the series Drawings for Projection. He first used here his charcoal animation technique that would become a feature of his work. What interests Kentridge is time; its passing, the traces it leaves, the memory that events, beings and objects leave when we close our eyes on our past. In order to do this, Kentridge gradually refined a personal and unique animation technique. Each of his short films is based on a series of some 20 to 40 charcoal drawings, one drawing per scene, mostly in large sizes with some colour enhancements in pastels. In a desire for a chromatic simplicity with symbolic values, only colors, such as blue to represent water, and red, are used, glaring against the subtlety of gray.

Each of these drawings is like a storyboard sketch, often filmed with no camera moves. Kentridge modifies his composition little by little between each frame shot by erasing certain parts and re-drawing them (similar to the oil paint on glass technique used by Alexander Petrov). The charcoal technique, ephemeral and volatile, lends itself to this treatment; particularly in that faint traces remain of the imagery that has been erased. The result on screen gives a rather fragile image, all in nuances, quite in the manner of a man obsessed by the idea of traces, of reminiscences. In this way, Kentridge's videos and films came to keep the traces of the previous drawings. His animations deal with political and social issues from a personal and at times autobiographical point of view, since the author includes his self-portrait in some of his works.

The political content and unique techniques of Kentridge's work have propelled him into the realm of South Africa's top artists. Working with what is in essence a very restrictive media, using only charcoal and a touch of blue or red pastel, he has created animations of astounding depth. A theme running through all of his work is his peculiar way of representing his birthplace. While he does not portray it as the militant or oppressive place that it was for black people, he does not emphasize the picturesque state of living that white people enjoyed during apartheid either; he presents instead a city in which the duality of man is exposed. In a series of nine short films, he introduces two characters, namely Soho Eckstein and Felix Teitlebaum. These characters depict an emotional and political struggle that ultimately reflects the lives of many South Africans in the pre-democracy era.

In an introductory note to Felix In Exile, Kentridge writes, "In the same way that there is a human act of dismembering the past there is a natural process in the terrain through erosion, growth, dilapidation that also seeks to blot out events. In South Africa this process has other dimensions. The very term 'new South Africa' has within it the idea of a painting over the old, the natural process of dismembering, the naturalization of things new." 

Films included in this compilation are:
1. Johannesburg, Second Greatest City After Paris (1989)
2. Monument (1990)
3. Mine (1991)
4. Sobriety, Obesity And Growing Old (1991)
5. Felix In Exile (1994)
6. History Of The Main Complaint (1996)
7. Weighting And Wanting (1998)
8. Stereoscope (1999)
sarienne (Surreal Moviez)




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