William Kentridge Builds an Impressive Social Animation In Charcoal
In his first solo exhibition in Israel, William Kentridge presents a video of eight minutes in which he elaborates on his vast work in the social and political culture, combined with his charcoal drawings and engravings. “Tide Table” is a play on words that connects between the cycle of high and low tide and its schedule, to the work table that creates a manual animation.
The movie that was made in 2003 describes the real estate industrialist, Soho Ekstein, a fictional character who is repeated throughout Kentridge’s work.
His movies have received international recognition. This movie was made by joining numerous charcoal drawings trapped in motion. In his movies, Kentridge uses his own drawings in order to achieve a certain quality. In this movie the softness of the drawings in charcoal and pastel brings out a world of images that connect to each other in a linguistic and cultural syntax in which its sequence creates a dreamlike or delusional atmosphere.
The use of dreams or delusions is a creative base that Kentridge often uses in his work. Only dreams can account for rich images so different and strange trapped in sequence. And only through dreams one can treat the edges of life and the main images of its culture.
Kentridge is based in South Africa, there he lives and creates. From the movie, images of bony cows, skeletons, death, illness and different cults arise. All these sketches are composed of shapes and ideas, and the white foam of the waves joins them, erases them, and revives their presence.
The scene of Soho Ekstein’s dream takes place on the beach, edge of land. The boundary between the actual state and the abyss.
The tide table echoes throughout the whole movie as a means of joining between the elements of a cultural nightmare,and as a means of change pointing to the news coming from the sea.
The cultural symbols represented in Kentridge’s work dramatizes the penetration of the easing economic culture (the Character of Soho Ekstein) and its slow disintegration (Sleeping on the Beach), into the range of leaders of less developed cultures. (Poor Village in Africa) and their symbols, (Cows Rising from the Sea).
Kentridge melds the cultural symbols together, changes their state and transfer’s their soul’s skeletons, which are then carried away to sea and returned as images of the land.