William Kentridge is a brilliant artist from South Africa. His background is drawing, theater and film. He does a cross-medium between different genres. He doesn’t work with a script or a storyboard. Oddly enough, he had no work experience by age 30, so his friends said no one would hire him. Then Kentridge concluded that he was an artist.
Kentridge uses art to make sense of the world, particularly through animated films. Like Enrique Martinez Celaya and Marina Abramovic, Kentridge believes in the power of failure. He said you can be rescued by one’s failures, and sometimes the best ideas are really bad.
Profound Statement One
Kentridge says there’s desperation in all certainty. People will come in with armies to prove their certainty. Uncertainty is okay, whether political or religious. You can see the world as a series of facts and photographs, or you can see the world as unfolding.
Historically, Kentridge is right. If you disagreed with the Inquisition, the leaders of the French Revolution, Lenin, Hitler, Stalin, or Mao, you were either killed or sent to prison. Sometimes your friends and family were also killed. Today in America, if you express a different opinion, the Press comes after you, or you’re crucified through social media. But to be open-minded, to see the world as unfolding is exciting.
Profound Statement Two
Kentridge said every artist uses other people’s pain as well as their own. There’s an appropriation in other people’s distress in being a writer or an artist.
He’s absolutely right! Thank goodness art helps us make sense of the world. Not to mention, art is a healing tool.
William Kentridge is not only an artist, but a philosopher.