William Kentridge

If you want to give a really great gift to someone who has been laid off or is out of work, give that person a museum membership. A friend recently gave me a membership to MoMA, and I’ve been really enjoying it.

Detail from Kentridge's "7 Fragments for Georges Melies"

Yesterday afternoon, I went to see the William Kentridge exhibit there. Kentridge combines drawing, collage, animation and video to wonderful effect. I was particularly struck by the freedom and apparent casual treatment of materials: charcoal, ink splash, torn paper, lo-fi video. The craft and creative process is so present in the experience of watching the work. In one installation, 7 Fragments for Georges Melies,  a set of projected animated films show Kentridge at work making and unmaking images using ink, coffee, charcoal, paper and his body. The video runs forward and backward, images emerge from the brush and then are consumed by the rag and vice versa.

Every person doing creative work knows that the act of starting can feel like an overwhelming hurdle to cross. In “7 Fragments…” the process seems to never stop, never end. The image is always present, and always not, in the same instant.

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