Watching a sousaphone perched on a chair moved by a string might strike the newcomer as something akin to spying a kitten play with a catnip toy. But for those of us familiar with William Kentridge’s works, this chair seems lonely and barely dressed. More, its solo dance seems to deepen the mystery of how Kentridge and his collaborators create his trademark visual and sound blooms on the screen.
Goodman Gallery Brings Us Into Kentridge’s Studio in Johannesburg
Via the miracle of Instagram Live, William Kentridge gave all a tour not only of his studio, but of his creative process. Speaking extemporaneously, Kentridge guided his phone and Instagram feed to his studio’s corners, to illuminate the elements in the mix for the brew to happen, and how he, as the work’s master chef so to speak, is determining what to add and how.
He shows us the movable maquette of a rhinoceros being pressed into service to perform behind the dancing sousaphone chair in a segment imagining the studio at night, when real and unreal dance. A painting that will be excavated from darkness will mesh with this dancing rhinoceros to create a lamentation on fragmentation. He and his team will create a unique font for the textual elements that his fans know will pepper his work. Here though, we sense Kentridge’s lust for the color when he describes it as—“…a brilliance from a Pakistani Lapis lazuli – unlike any other..” And we also feel Kentridge’s wistful longing for return to normal- in this case, especially the joys of collaborating with live musicians, which he describes as a “huge pleasure”.
As questions streamed in, Kentridge graciously answered many admiring questions that poked into fine points of how his art is made. The charcoal he uses?--all from a friend’s son burning twigs. The fine hatches?—five pencils held in hand. And in this pandemic interim,, he is sourcing music via the likes of Spotify.
This was a relatively brief event, but one that deepens the thirst for Kentridge’s final works.
To keep track of future events of this type, bookmark the Goodman Gallery website.
About the Author: Amy Munice
Amy Munice is Editor-in-Chief and Co-Publisher of Picture This Post. She covers books, dance, film, theater, music, museums and travel. Prior to founding Picture This Post, Amy was a freelance writer and global PR specialist for decades—writing and ghostwriting thousands of articles and promotional communications on a wide range of technical and not-so-technical topics.
Amy hopes the magazine’s click-a-picture-to-read-a-vivid-account format will nourish those ever hunting for under-discovered cultural treasures. She especially loves writing articles about travel finds, showcasing works by cultural warriors of a progressive bent, and shining a light on bold, creative strokes by fledgling artists in all genres.