Mumbai, Feb 1 — The works of multi-facted South African artist William Kentridge will be showcased for the first time in India at a solo show. The 57-year-old makes drawings, animated films, prints, tapestries and sculpture, as well as directs theatre and opera.
His works will be showcased from Feb 6 under the title “Poems I Used to Know” at Volte Gallery in Mumbai.
Kentridge uses a unique method to make films. These are constructed by filming a drawing, making erasures and changes, and filming it again. He continues this process, 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 are later displayed along with the films as finished pieces of art.
He has showcased his work at the Metropolitan Opera and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Louvre and Jeu de Paume in Paris, the Albertina Museum in Vienna and La Scala in Milan.
In Mumbai, the main attraction of the exhibition will be an installation of eight projections, titled “I am not me, the horse is not mine”.
“This emerges from William’s work towards a production of (Dmitri) Shostakovich’s opera ‘The Nose’ (based on Russian writer Nikolai Gogol’s short story),” said Tushar Jiwarajka, founder and director of Volte.
“One of the installations ‘The Refusal of Time’ was made for Documenta (13), an exhibition of modern and contemporary art which takes place every five years in Kassel in Germany,” said Jiwarajka.
He said when he got an opportunity to have Kentridge’s works showcased in his gallery, he was elated.
“Kentridge has gained international recognition for his distinctive animated short films and charcoal drawings. His thought-provoking work has earned him a place in Time magazine’s 2009 list of the 100 most influential people. How can one resist that?” he said.
Kentridge has also received the Kyoto Prize in 2010 and Dan David Prize by Tel Aviv University in 2012.
Also on display will be his five etchings and five photogravures which derive from the same trajectory of work for ‘The Nose’.
“Yet another masterpiece is ‘Commendatore Naso’ — a fragmented bronze sculpture, which also connects to work on ‘The Nose’,” Jiwarajka said.
Another sculpture in painted steel, ‘World on its Hind Legs’, is similarly deconstructed or fragmented.
“Kentridge’s other exhibits will include a series of flipbook films, two large drawings made in Indian ink over multiple book pages, sculptures which fragment and cohere as the viewer moves around them, a large tapestry and several prints,” Jiwarajka said.
There will be two large drawings, both of them pieced together from multiple book pages, each page holding a piece of the image, the whole pieced together as a puzzle.
Volte is also exhibiting Kentridge’s works at the India Art Fair in New Delhi.