Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) Director Tony Sweeney last night opened William Kentridge: Five Themes, an exhibition by one of the world’s most distinguished contemporary artists, William Kentridge.
“In a career spanning more than 30 years, William Kentridge has developed an astonishing body of work, and ACMI is thrilled to provide this unique opportunity to explore his career in a major retrospective,” said Sweeney.
Well known for his stop motion films of charcoal drawings, Kentridge’s multi-disciplinary approach is showcased through over 60 works ranging from beautiful animations, drawings and prints to intricate theatre models, sculptures and books. His work seamlessly unites vision and sound – including the music of composer Philip Miller – to create a profoundly magical and moving experience.
William Kentridge was in attendance for the opening along with the exhibition’s curator, Mark Rosenthal.
“Poised between the film and museum worlds, ACMI provides the perfect context for Five Themes,” said Kentridge. “It is always fascinating to see how new audiences respond to my work and, hopefully, make their own personal connection to it.”
Making its final stop in Australia after enthralling audiences in San Francisco, New York, Paris, Vienna, Jerusalem and Moscow, the exhibition explores five key themes that have captivated Kentridge throughout his career.
Born in 1955 in South Africa, and continuing to reside in his hometown of Johannesburg, Kentridge is internationally acclaimed for a body of work that reveals strong links to the social and political environment of his home country. Tackling issues of colonial oppression, reconciliation, and the transient nature of individual and shared memory, his work deftly combines the political with the poetic.
A series of inspiring public programs will also coincide with the exhibition.
Today, Kentridge presents a public lecture titled Anti-Entropy: A Natural History of the Studio, where he’ll delve into the chaotic world of the artist’s studio and its ability to provide a haven for productive stupidity.
Also today, Neal Benezra, Director of San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) – the first institution to exhibit William Kentridge: Five Themes – presents 21st Century Museums: SFMOMA ‘Looking Back/Looking Forward’. This will be a rare opportunity to hear Benezra talk about the history of SFMOMA, its collections, exhibitions and architecture, and the museum’s exciting future directions.
Additional public programs will be held throughout March, April and May. These include guided tours of the exhibition by ACMI curators, a creative animation workshop inspired by Kentridge’s work, a film screening and discussion about Apartheid and other separatist practices by human rights lawyer Andrea Durbach and indigenous consultant Jason Eades, and a presentation by Prof Jill Bennet, Dr Anne Rutherford and curator Victoria Lynn sharing their intimate knowledge of Kentridge’s artistic work and processes.
Curated by Mark Rosenthal, William Kentridge: Five Themes is organised by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) and the Norton Museum of Art. Generous support for the exhibition is provided by the Koret Foundation. Additional support is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts.
William Kentridge: Five Themes is exhibited exclusively in Australia at ACMI in Melbourne until Sunday 27 May, 2012. Tickets for the exhibition and public programs are on sale now via acmi.net.au/williamkentridge