Tuesday, May 12, 2009

William Kentridge at SFMOMA

Go see the William Kentridge exhibit at SFMOMA! It closes on May 31, 2009.

I loved the room full of videos near the entrance, especially Journey to the Moon (an homage to the 1902 film Le Voyage dans la lune by Georges Méliès, not the Apollo space program). The other videos in the room were humorous studies in time and composition.

For me, the mind boggling piece was a table with animations projected on its top to make it appear that the table was turning. A cylindrical tube in the center of the table plays another version of the same animation simultaneously, the effect being that the table is reflecting the animation playing on the tube. Stunning! I couldn't find the name of the piece, but here's a youtube video of it:

All due respect to the videographers out there trying to capture this piece on youtube and flickr, but you have to see it in person to know how beautiful and innovative it is. The technology is flawless and unnoticeable.

Kentridge is from South Africa, and apartheid is a common theme in his work. I kept on thinking of Kara Walker's silhouettes when I looked at Kentridge's drawings.

Kentridge often works with theater and opera companies. I enjoyed the room on his set design for the New York Metropolitan Opera's upcoming production of The Nose by Dmitri Shostakovich.

All I can say is: go!

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