William Kentridge / That Which We Do Not Remember / 2017

About

Goodman Gallery Cape Town
30 November 2017 – 13 January 2018

That Which We Do Not Remember marks the year-end at Goodman Gallery Cape Town. This solo exhibition presents major new work by William Kentridge, spanning two recent opera productions, Lulu and Wozzeck, and several projects in between.

The exhibition gives unique insight into Kentridge’s prolific practice and intricately interconnected projects over the past two years, bringing together drawings, prints, sculpture, tapestries, a kinetic model theatre as well as a 360° virtual reality film – many of which are rooted in Kentridge’s distinctive charcoal drawing. While some works will debut in South Africa, others have recently shown abroad and will be accessible to local audiences for the first time.

At the centre of the show is a series of charcoal drawings made by Kentridge for his production of Alban Berg’s opera, Wozzeck, which premiered at the Salzburg Festival in July. The opera delves into the tormented life of a homicidal soldier and is characterised by bleak landscapes, denuded of their trees and scarred by shell craters.

As Wozzeck ’s creative director, Kentridge drew inspiration from documentary photographs that depict the ravaged battlefields of Flanders. For Kentridge, an opera must ‘meet a material for it to take fire – with Wozzeck, it’s the roughness of charcoal drawing. So all of the projections are made out of charcoal drawings and there’s something in the graininess of the drawing itself that echoes the music, but also with the world that it’s depicting – of things transforming, of sounds under the earth.’

The title of the exhibition is drawn from one of a new series of prints, titled Blue Rubrics (a continuation of Kentridge’s 2012 Rubrics print series). Here, ‘rubric’ refers to instructions printed in prayer books, conventionally in red ink. However, in this instance, words and phrases are printed in striking lapis lazuli-based pigment. Kentridge perceives these phrases as ‘a prod, a goad to the activity of thinking, of understanding how we have to make sense of the world from contradictory fragments.’

Marking Kentridge’s first foray into 360° virtual reality medium, Love Songs from the Last Century is experienced by donning a headset and exploring a panoramic charcoal landscape over which phrases, silhouettes and props are maneuvered. The experience is punctuated by animated live action manipulations. Kentridge is a looming presence who precipitates a fall of black snow, which takes the form of torn tissue paper that flutters towards the floor. The work was produced for the Invisible Exhibition, which formed part of Season Two at the Centre for the Less Good Idea in Johannesburg earlier this year.

The exhibition expands on an area of intellectual curiosity that is central to Kentridge’s practice, namely unpacking and challenging the concept of a ‘polished’ and ‘complete’ creative idea realised in the form of a ‘finished’ artwork. In this vein, a series of hand-carved wooden busts are presented, appearing as if they could be preparatory to a woodcut print, however, in this instance, that which would be used to produce an artwork becomes the artwork itself. The busts depict founding members of the African National Congress in 1912, including John Dube and Pixely Kaseme, as well as characters from the Berg opera Lulu, which Kentridge directed in 2016. Also on show is a series of prints related to Lulu in which the artist explores the femme fatale construct together with other characters from the opera.

That Which We Do Not Remember extends into the Video Room with the kinetic model theatre Right Into Her Arms, assembled from film material made while developing the production of Lulu. The soundtrack samples fragments of Schoenberg and Webern cabaret songs, as well as Swedish cabaret recordings of the same era and spoken excerpts from Kentridge’s recording of Kurt Schwitter’s Ursonate, which was performed live in New York for Performa 17.

William Kentridge lives and works in Johannesburg. Since the 1990s, his work has been exhibited in museums and galleries around the world and is held in eminent collections, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Albertina Museum in Vienna and the Musée du Louvre in Paris. Kentridge has participated in the Venice Biennale (1993, 1995, 2005) as well as Documenta X (1997), Documenta XI (2002) and Documenta XIII (2012), among others. His opera productions have been staged at venues such as La Scala in Milan and Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall, both in New York, and in collaboration with opera companies such as the Dutch National Opera in Amsterdam, the English National Opera in London, and the New York Metropolitan Opera. This year Kentridge ranked 58th on Art Review’s Power 100 and was the recipient of Spain’s prestigious Princess of Asturias Award for Art. He premiered Wozzeck at the 2017 Salzburg Festival and, concurrent to his Goodman Gallery exhibition, Kentridge has solo shows at The Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia in Madrid and at Sint-Janshospitaal in Bruges.

  • Untitled (Drawing from Wozzeck 30)

    William Kentridge

    Untitled (Drawing from Wozzeck 30), 2016

    Charcoal and red pencil on Hahnemuhle paper

    57 x 78cm

  • Untitled (Drawing from Wozzeck 15)

    William Kentridge

    Untitled (Drawing from Wozzeck 15), 2017

    Charcoal on paper

    Triptych: Approx 54 x 78 cm each

  • Untitled (Drawing from Wozzeck 5)

    William Kentridge

    Untitled (Drawing from Wozzeck 5), 2016

    Charcoal and red pencil on Velin Arches Cover White (440gsm)

    121 x 160cm

  • Untitled (Drawing from Wozzeck 14)

    William Kentridge

    Untitled (Drawing from Wozzeck 14), 2016

    Charcoal and red pencil on Hahnemuhle paper

    60 x 80cm

  • Untitled (Drawing from Wozzeck 6)

    William Kentridge

    Untitled (Drawing from Wozzeck 6), 2016

    Charcoal and red pencil on Velin Arches Cover White (440gsm)

    121 x 160cm

  • Triumph of Bacchus

    William Kentridge

    Triumph of Bacchus, 2016

    Lift Ground Aquatint etching on 100% Hemp Phumani handmade paper, Mounted on raw cotton cloth

    164 x 153...

  • Marcus Aurelius

    William Kentridge

    Marcus Aurelius, 2016

    Lift Ground Aquatint etching on 100% Hemp Phumani handmade paper, Mounted on raw cotton cloth

    163 x 156 cm...

  • Garibaldi

    William Kentridge

    Garibaldi, 2016

    Lift Ground Aquatint etching on 100% Hemp Phumani handmade paper, Mounted on raw cotton cloth

    157,5 x 147,5 cm

  • Blue Rubrics

    William Kentridge

    Blue Rubrics , 2017

    Lapis Lazuli pigment prints on found Latin Thesaurus paper, Set of 16

    44 x 53 cm each / Each 44 x 53cm

  • Miniature theater model for Lulu

    William Kentridge

    Miniature theater model for Lulu, 2017

  • Ampersand

    William Kentridge

    Ampersand, 2017

    Bronze

    Approx 82 x 52 x 85 cm

    Edition of 3

  • Fill

    William Kentridge

    Fill, 2017

    Bronze

    Approx 84.5 x 84 x 40 cm

    Edition of 3

  • Ring

    William Kentridge

    Ring, 2017

    Bronze

    Approx 76 x 90 x 63 cm

    Edition of 3

  • Untitled (Lexicon)

    William Kentridge

    Untitled (Lexicon), 2017

    Lithograph on 300g Velin d'Arches

    135.5 x 99.5cm

    Edition of 24

  • Lulu

    William Kentridge

    Lulu, 2015

    Linocut on Somerset Soft White 300gm

    63 x 49 cm

    Edition of 5

  • Mme. Manet

    in collaboration with Marguerite Stephens

    Mme. Manet, 2017

    Hand-woven mohair tapestry

    Work: 216 x 158 cm

    Edition of 6

  • M. Manet

    in collaboration with Marguerite Stephens

    M. Manet, 2017

    Hand-woven mohair tapestry

    Work: 200 x 150 cm

    Edition of 6

  • Drawing for Love Songs from the Last Century

    William Kentridge

    Drawing for Love Songs from the Last Century, 2017

    Charcoal and collage on paper

    100 x 500 cm

  • Skeletal Horse

    William Kentridge

    Skeletal Horse, 2017

    Lift Ground Aquatint etching on 100% Hemp Phumani handmade paper, Mounted on raw cotton cloth

    163.5 x 153 c...

  • Mantegna

    William Kentridge

    Mantegna, 2016-2017

    Relief printed from 13 woodblocks and one linoleum block on Somerset Velvet, Soft White, 300 gsm. Final work compri...

  • The Flood

    William Kentridge

    The Flood, 2016

    Relief printed from 11 woodblocks on Somerset Velvet, Soft White, 300 gsm. Final work comprised of 15 individual sheets...

  • Lampedusa

    William Kentridge

    Lampedusa, 2017

    Relief, printed from 12 woodblocks on Somerset Velvet, Soft White, 300 gsm. Final work comprised of 28 individual sheet...

  • Refugees (You will find no other seas)

    William Kentridge

    Refugees (You will find no other seas), 2017

    Lift Ground Aquatint etching on 100% Hemp Phumani handmade paper, Mounted on raw cotton clo...

  • Installation picture [William Kentridge / That Which We Do Not Remember / 2017]
  • Installation picture [William Kentridge / That Which We Do Not Remember / 2017]
  • Installation picture [William Kentridge / That Which We Do Not Remember / 2017]
  • Installation picture [William Kentridge / That Which We Do Not Remember / 2017]
  • Installation picture [William Kentridge / That Which We Do Not Remember / 2017]
  • Installation picture [William Kentridge / That Which We Do Not Remember / 2017]
  • Installation picture [William Kentridge / That Which We Do Not Remember / 2017]
  • Installation picture [William Kentridge / That Which We Do Not Remember / 2017]
  • Installation picture [William Kentridge / That Which We Do Not Remember / 2017]
  • Installation picture [William Kentridge / That Which We Do Not Remember / 2017]
  • Installation picture [William Kentridge / That Which We Do Not Remember / 2017]