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EMMA - Espoon modernin taiteen museo

EMMA's summer is opened by William Kentridge's exhibition

Media release.
Published: 17-Jun-2014 11:37 am
Publisher: EMMA - Espoon modernin taiteen museo


EMMA - Espoo museum of modern art opens it’s summer 18th of June with the exhibition by William Kentridge who is one of the top names in international contemporary art.

The exhibition carries on the museum’s series of shows by major international contemporary artists. Two works will be on display: Other Faces from 2011, an animation that belongs to The Saastamoinen Foundation Art Collection; and The Refusal of Time, a video installation created in 2012 for Documenta in Kassel.

EMMA will present along with the exhibition a video specially made for Finnish media and art audience by multi-talented William Kentridge. In the video tripled Kentridge ends up interviewing himself with questions provided by EMMA’s Museum Director Pilvi Kalhama and Intendent Päivi Talasmaa. ”We feel the video to be a true gift for EMMA and our audience. In itself the video is an artwork, which truly portrays Kentridge’s talent as a story teller and as an actor. This significant contribution made by the busy artist is well appreciated”, says Esa Takala, Marketing & Communications Manager of EMMA.

William Kentridge’s art has roots in theatre and politically committed art, frequently commenting on social injustice and apartheid. At its core it asks the question: How can we live with our traumatic past? Kentridge is a multi-talented artist whose production extends from drawings, graphic art and animated films to theatre and opera productions. He is a brilliant draughtsman, whose art is created by using his own drawings to make animated films and video installations. In his time-specific video art Kentridge himself frequently appears as an actor.

William Kentridge was born in 1955 in Johannesburg, where he still lives and works. His parents are prominent South African human-rights lawyers. Kentridge studied politics and African studies at the University of Witwatersrand, graduating 1976. He studied Fine Art at the Johannesburg Art Foundation, and theatre and mime in Paris and elsewhere. He has worked as a script writer and director with several South African theatre groups, and also for television. Kentridge gained an international reputation in the 1990s.

William Kentridge’s works have been shown at numerous key international events, such as the Venice Biennale in 2005, 1999 and 1993, and Documenta in Kassel in 2012, 2002 and 1997. He has also exhibited at Tate Modern, the Louvre, Centre Pompidou, the Albertina in Vienna, MoMA in New York, Washington D.C.’s Hirshhorn Museum, the Centre for Fine Arts in Brussels, and elsewhere.

William Kentridge has received several major international art awards, including the Kyoto Prize (201), Oskar Kokoschka Award (2008), Kaiserring Prize (2003) and Red Ribbon Award for Short Fiction (1982). He is the recipient of honorary doctorates from: the Royal College of Art, London; Rhodes University, Grahamstown; and the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.


The Refusal of Time

music and sound, Philip Miller
video editing, Catherine Meyburgh
dramaturge, Peter Galison


The Refusal of Time (2012) is a five-channel video installation projected onto three walls, with a wooden breathing machine made out of moving parts – “the elephant” – in the middle. The work is partly based on conversations between William Kentridge and the US physicist Peter Galison about the history of the control of time, the theory of relativity, black holes and string theory. Its themes span questions related to 19th-century imperialism, ways of depicting the concept of time, and the inevitability of death.

William Kentridge: “…from the conversations with Peter Galison, a series of ideas and metaphors erupted, with each idea needing to become materialized. Synchronicity using projected metronomes. Time expressed through sound. A need to develop metaphors by making them visible and/or audible.” (William Kentridge, Foreword. The Refusal of Time, 2012)

In Kentridge’s characteristic fashion, the installation contains powerful images based on the history of African colonialism. He presents the ideas that arise out of the images, evoking associations with the aid of drawings, film, sound and editing. The music and sound are by the composer Philip Miller, the choreography has been created by leading South African dancer Dada Masilo, and the video editing is by Catherine Meyburgh.



Other Faces

music and sound, Philip Miller
video editing, Catherine Meyburgh


In Other Faces (2011) William Kentridge returns to the figure of property magnate Soho Eckstein, who is the central character in his ten-part Drawings for Projection series (1989-2003). Here, Kentridge puts the city of Johannesburg in the main role, taking the viewer into its surrounding landscapes and cityscape, highlighting the problems of xenophobia and violence.

The work is made from charcoal drawings, which Kentridge has filmed on a 35mm motion-picture camera. Once again, the music has been composed by Philip Miller and the video editing done by Catherine Meyburgh.


Further information:

Pilvi Kalhama, Museum Director, EMMA.
pilvi.kalhama@emma.museum, p. +358 40 533 4070

Päivi Talasmaa, Intendent, EMMA.
paivi.talasmaa@emma.museum, p. +358 50 511 4206

Esa Takala, Marketing & Communications Manager, EMMA.
esa.takala@emma.museum, p. +358 43 825 0021

Press material: http://kuvat.emma.museum/#/kuvat/Lehdistokuvat-Press/William+Kentridge/
Keyword: emmamuseum

Kentridge biography: http://www.mariangoodman.com/artists/william-kentridge

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