Kentridge… Now with 20% More Meaning
Friday, January 09, 2009
Sometimes Sannie wakes up and wonders if she has completely lost it. Today was one such morning. I’ve been looking at out second or third greatest living artist for some time now – William Kentridge and have always respected the old thespian but never really had the same levels of excitement that seem to precipitate the writing of very large cheques for his work. But today was different. Today I woke up really liking his new work. I don’t know if you’ve seen it: both at The Goodman Cape and at The National Gallery (many apparently haven’t since they assume it’s all just the same) but if not do so because I think he’s really turned the corner here.
This is really good and meaningful work, not just the rehashing of jaded European ideas with a thin veneer of African symbolism – well all that yes – but so much more. Ever since his production of The Magic Flute which Sannie uncharacteristically was quite nice about there seems to be a freshness and vitality in his work. Maybe it has something to do with him returning to his first love of the stage or maybe the fact that his life has become more complicated but whatever the reasons the results are clear: Kentrudge has proven that he is no mere construct of overseas curators and critics: he is a genius, like it or not.
The video projections (except for the La Fenice piece) at the Goodman showed some disturbing signs of under-editing but I guess we all have our moments. But this is a much more humble, humanist Kentridge: one who is unsure of the future but projects towards a place and time where things will be better. Even Sannie can say, “Amen to that!”
Labels: william kentridge