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William Kentridge

That Which Is Not Drawn

The CCCB presents "William Kentridge: That Which Is Not Drawn" with the aim not just of showing the multiple facets of a fundamental creator, but also creating a space for reflection that raises uncomfortable questions about the challenges of post-colonialism and the dialectic between power zones and the margins of exclusion in contemporary European society.

Convinced that the ethical duty of any artist involves undermining the pillars of dogma and monolithic certainties with the tools of uncertainty, ambiguity and contradiction, South African William Kentridge has constructed a tentacular, polymorphic creative discourse that has consolidated him as a voice of reference on the contemporary world art scene. A well-placed witness of the radical political changes that his country has undergone, between the collective guilt of apartheid and the scars that continue to mark the present, Kentridge is an artist firmly rooted in his territory: that city of Johannesburg still bruised by recent history, but also the nerve centre for the creation of new networks and channels of communication to outline open realities, provisional utopias and new ways of imagining collective futures.

Charcoal drawing, with all its primitive force of expression, provides the coherence of a multidisciplinary body of work that transcends the field of the visual arts and explodes in unprecedented ways of understanding animation, the performing arts and the multimedia show. A creator who constantly moves between the extreme introspective solitude of artisan animation films that call out from the black holes of the history of South Africa and the communicative generosity of projects that call for the participation of other artists, Kentridge transcends the explicitly localised origin of his discourse in a message of fierce universality about the dissection of power and the unassailable strength of survivors and the humiliated.

Curated by Jaap Guldemond, "William Kentridge: That Which Is Not Drawn" offers a multifaceted portrait of the creator, in the form of a dialogue between the pieces of the series of animations Drawings for Projection (a critical chronicle of South African history, from apartheid to a murky present in the form of two antithetical figures: the oppressor Soho Eckstein and the poet Felix Teitlebaum), some of the drawings that bear witness to the laborious creative process of these pieces, the tapestries in the series The Nose (inspired by Nikolai Gogol’s short story of the same name) and The Porter, projections frozen in time, and testimony to the interaction between Kentridge and the weavers’ workshop that materialises his ideas.

The exhibition includes More Sweetly Play the Dance, the spectacular moving frieze that evokes the dynamics of a ritual procession, a demonstration of dispossessed or a stream of refugees escaping a crisis, with a language that refers to the primitive force of shadow theatre to the sound of the Immanuel Essemblies Brass Band.This large audiovisual installation will be in Room 2 at the CCCB until 17 January. Thereafter, it will be shown in the PLANTA space of the Fundació Sorigué, near Balaguer.

"William Kentridge: That Which Is Not Drawn" is an extended adaptation of "William Kentridge: Ten Drawings for Projection", designed by and first presented at the Eye Filmmuseum (Amsterdam) between 3 June and 1 September 2019.

Curators: Jaap Guldemond

Artists: William Kentridge

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