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. Though his pieces have allowed viewers to encounter the traditions of landscape and self-portraiture, the limits of representation, the possibilities for animated drawing, and the labor of art, a guide to understanding the full scope of his art has been unavailable 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 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.
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.
William Kentridge is an artist and filmmaker whose work has been exhibited at the Metropolitan Opera and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Louvre in Paris, La Scala in Milan, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, among others. Rosalind C. Morris is professor of anthropology at Columbia University. She is the author of New Worlds from Fragments and In the Place of Origins.