William Kentridge

South Africa


William Kentridge is a conceptual and Animated Video artist. Born in Johannesburg, South Africa 1955. Studied Politics and African Studies at the University of Witswatersrand. Has held several solo and group exhibitions in South Africa, Europe and Australia, including Geography and Memory with Doris Bloom at the 1st Johannesburg Biennale and Inklusion/Exclusion Art in the Age of post-colonialism and Global Migration at the Reininghaus and Künstlerhaus, Graz, Austria. Has participated in numerous computer animation films and theater productions in South Africa and Germany. Lives in Johannesburg.



Felix in Exile, The History of the Main Complaint


William Kentridge's films chronicle the saga of Felix Teitlebaum (a man whose anxiety says the artist, "flooded half the house") and Soho Eckstein (a high-rolling real-estate promoter). In these melancholic and tormented tales, the outlines of the obsessive events of apartheid and the trauma of the Holocaust gradually become visible. The films take multiple narrative paths, prohibiting any univocal interpretation.Created in September 1993 and February 1994 just before the first general elections in the new South Africa, Felix in Exile testifies to a deep anxiety: will the victims of apartheid be remembered? Created eighteen months later during the hearings of the Truth and Reconciliation commission, "History of the Main Complaint" (1996) is a reflection on collective and individual responsibility and on latent pangs of conscience at past injustice.

(From a text by Paul Sztulman in the documenta X - short guide)

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