Artists > William Kentridge
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William Kentridge

William Kentridge
b. 1955 in Johannesburg, South Africa; based in Johannesburg

Works in the exhibition
Second-hand Reading, 2013
Flip book film from drawings on single pages of the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary (HD video)
7 min. 1 sec.
Music and voice by Neo Muyanga
Edited by Snežana Marović

Drawings for Second-hand Reading, 2013
Drawings on single pages of the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary with colored pencil, India ink, charcoal, pastel, digital print, and watercolor
Set of 32

Work in prelude exhibition
The Refusal of Time, 2012
5-channel video installation with sound, megaphones, and breathing machine (“elephant”)
30 min.
Music and soundscape: Philip Miller
Video editing: Catherine Meyburgh
Dramaturg: Peter Galison
Ishikawa Collection (Okayama)

See all installation views at higher resolution:

William Kentridge has won recognition around the world with his “drawings in motion,” or hand-drawn animated films made by photographing drawings frame by frame. He is active in many fields, directing puppet theaters, operas, and other productions, acting, writing, and more. In recent years, Kentridge has been making more works that involve many collaborators and other participants, but the animations made with vast amounts of thought and handwork in his studio and the artist’s own physical way of thinking remain the basis of his works. The artist contemplates the situation of his homeland, South Africa, with his own studio as his starting point. With the knowledge and technical history of modern Europe as his guide, Kentridge examines universal problems faced by mankind and transforms them into visual art.
Kentridge also has strong ties with the city of Kyoto, with a history including a major solo exhibition that opened at the National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto in 2009 and traveled to Tokyo and Hiroshima in 2010, and the 2010 Kyoto Prize in Arts and Philosophy, of which he is the youngest laureate to date. His epic video installation commissioned for Documenta 13, The Refusal of Time (2012), was shown for the first time in Asia from February to March 2014 as a prelude to Parasophia: Kyoto International Festival of Contemporary Culture 2015.
At Parasophia: Kyoto International Festival of Contemporary Culture 2015, Kentridge presents Second-hand Reading, a flip book film made from the successive filming of drawings on pages from a dictionary, accompanied by a suite of drawings made in the process of creating the work. The film presents a “second-hand reading” of the book both as a medium and as a subject, representing his thoughts on words, memory, and how the mind functions. The work is about narrative, in that it starts at the beginning and eventually gets to the end, but it also acknowledges repetition, inconsistency, and illogicality as part of its material.

Only selected events are listed below. To see all events held in connection with the prelude exhibition, click here.

  • William Kentridge

    Still from William Kentridge, Second-hand Reading, 2013

  • William Kentridge
  • William Kentridge
  • William Kentridge
  • William Kentridge