Exhibition on major short films by Kentridge

William Kentridge – Ten Drawings for Projection

William Kentridge

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Eye Filmmuseum is exhibiting William Kentridge –Ten Drawings for Projection (1989-2011). These pieces, which Kentridge donated to Eye in 2015, marked his breakthrough into the international art scene in the 1990s. They are short films consisting of charcoal drawings in which Kentridge adds, removes and redraws pieces – often without concealing the process. Most of the films, like much of his musical theatre work, are accompanied by music by composer Philip Miller. They give insight into Kentridge’s oeuvre, and a glimpse of life in South Africa after the abolition of apartheid. The exhibition also includes Kentridge’s recent O Sentimental Machine installation, which consists of five screens. The exhibition will be accompanied by a programme of films, talks and events.

background information

Films in the series Drawings for Projection: Johannesburg, 2nd Greatest City After Paris (1989), Monument (1990), Mine (1991), Sobriety, Obesity & Growing Old (1991), Felix in Exile (1994), History of the 

Main Complaint (1996), Weighing and Wanting (1998), Stereoscope (1999), Tide Table (2003) and Other Faces (2011). Also on display is the installation O Sentimental Machine (2017) and a selection of William Kentridge's tapestries.



William Kentridge (South Africa, 1955) is internationally acclaimed for his drawings, films, theatre and opera productions. His practice is born out of a cross-fertilisation between mediums and genres. 

His work responds to the legacies of colonialism and apartheid, within the context of South Africa's socio-political landscape. His aesthetics are drawn from the medium of film’s own history, from stop-motion animation to early special effects. Kentridge’s drawing, specifically the dynamism of an erased and redrawn mark, is an integral part of his expanded animation and filmmaking practice, in which the meanings of his films are developed during the process of their making. His practice also incorporates his theatre training. Kentridge’s work has been seen in museums and galleries around the world since the 1990s, including Documenta in Kassel, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Albertina Museum in Vienna, Musée du Louvre in Paris, Whitechapel Gallery in London, Louisiana Museum in Copenhagen and the Reina Sofia museum in Madrid. Opera productions include Mozart’s The Magic Flute, Shostakovich’s The Nose, and Alban Berg’s Lulu, and have been seen at opera houses including the Metropolitan Opera (New York), La Scala (Milan), English National Opera (London), Opera de Lyon, De Nationale Opera (Amsterdam), and others. Summer 2017 saw the premiere of Kentridge’s production of Berg’s Wozzeck for the Salzburg Festival. The 5-channel video and sound installation The Refusal of Time was made for Documenta (13) in 2012; since then it has been seen in cities around the world. More Sweetly Play the Dance, an 8-channel video projection shown first in Eye Amsterdam in April 2015, and Notes Toward a Model Opera, a three-screen projection looking at the Chinese Cultural Revolution, made for an exhibition in Beijing in 2015; both have been presented in many other cities since. Kentridge’s ambitious yet ephemeral public art project for Rome Triumphs & Laments (a 500 m frieze of figure power-washed from pollution and bacterial growth on the walls of the Tiber River) opened in April 2016 with a performance of live music composed by Philip Miller and a procession of shadow figures. William Kentridge featured at the Holland Festival in 2010 with Telegrams from the Nose, in 2012 with Refuse the Hour and in 2014 with Winterreise. In 2015, he staged Alban Berg's Lulu with De Nationale Opera (Amsterdam). Kentridge is one of the Holland Festival’s two associate artists this year.




William Kentridge

This performance was made possible with support by