That Which Is Not Drawn
Rosalind C. Morris, William Kentridge
5.5 x 7.75 inches, 200pp. March 2017
ISBN : 9780857424457
Rs 425.00 (PB)
For more than three decades, artist William Kentridge has explored in his work the nature of subjectivity, the possibilities of revolution, the Enlightenment’s legacy in Africa, and the nature of time itself. At the same time, his creative work has stretched the boundaries of the very media he employs. Though his pieces have allowed viewers to encounter the traditions of landscape and self-portraiture, the limits of representation and the possibilities for animated drawing, and the labor of art, no guide to understanding the full scope of his art has been available until now.
For five days, Kentridge sat with Rosalind C. Morris to talk about his work. The result—That Which Is Not Drawn—is a wide-ranging conversation and deep investigation into the artist’s techniques and into the psychic and philosophical underpinnings of his body of work. In these pages, Kentridge explains the key concerns of his art, including the virtues of bastardy, the ethics of provisionality, the nature of translation and the activity of the viewer. And together, Kentridge and Morris trace the migration of images across his works and consider the possibilities for a revolutionary art that remains committed to its own transformation.
“That’s the thing about a conversation,” Kentridge reflects. “The activity and the performance, whether it’s the performance of drawing or the performance of speech and conversation, is also the engine for new thoughts to happen. It’s not just a report of something you know.” And here, in this engaging dialogue, we at last have a guide to the continually exciting, continually changing work of one of our greatest living artists.
Rosalind C. Morris is professor of anthropology and former associate director of the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society at Columbia University. A scholar of both mainland Southeast Asia and South Africa, she has published widely on topics concerning the politics of representation, the relationship between violence and value, gender and sexuality, the mass media, and the changing forms of modernity in the global south. She is also the author of New Worlds from Fragments: Film, Ethnography, and the Representation of Northwest Coast Cultures (1994) and In the Place of Origins: Modernity and Its Mediums in Northern Thailand (2000).
William Kentridge is one of most prominent contemporary artists in the world. Best known for his animated films based on charcoal drawings, he also works in prints, books, collage, sculpture and the performing arts. In the past two years, his work has been seen at the Metropolitan Opera and MoMA in New York, Jeu de Paume and the Louvre in Paris, La Scala in Milan, the Israel Museum in Jerusalem and the Albertina Museum in Vienna. In 2010, Kentridge received the Kyoto Prize in recognition of his contributions in the field of arts and philosophy. In 2011, he was elected as an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and awarded the degree of Doctor of Literature honoris causa by the University of London.