Journal

A sporadic record of what happens in William Kentridge’s studio, in video, words and images

A response to Philip Guston’s 1969 work, “The Studio” Recently recorded in the studio as part of a live-streamed symposium, to celebrate and discuss the work, life and legacy of Philip Guston, hosted by @hauserwirth To view the full recording visit: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=w_0aNAv2L-k
Excerpt from “Vetkoek - Fête Galante”, 1985, 16mm film transferred to video, 2 min 41 sec “Vetkoek - Fête Galante” is a film from the mid-1980s, in a period of the State of Emergency in South Africa – the time preceding the ending of apartheid. It was the first film I made which incorporated fragments of charcoal animation. I made it using a Bolex 16 millimetre camera that could shoot one frame at a time, which had been lent to me. I set it up in my studio, with one roll of film, and decided that whatever happened in the studio, and whoever entered it whilst I was working on the charcoal drawings, would be included. It was made over a two day period and it records myself, my wife, friends, our daughter Alice, her nanny, her friends, a person who came to the front door asking for food – anybody who was around the house then came into the studio and was filmed. I showed Vetkoek - Fête Galante to my friend Angus Gibson, who was a film editor, and he pointed out that, in fact, the most interesting thing about it were the animated charcoal drawings. He suggested that I make a film entirely of these charcoal drawings, which at the time was very daunting because it was such a slow way of working. But I took his advice, and that led to the first of the series of ‘Drawings for Projection’, and they all went on from that. The elements here that continue in all the films that followed on from Vetkoek - Fête Galante were the mixture of text, the masks used in live performance, and, of course, the stop-frame animation. Currently showing @friezemasters as part of a solo presentation by @mariangoodmangallery Regent’s Park, London 13 - 17 October, 2021