Drawings for Projection

1989 – 2020
William_Kentridge_Drawing_for_Projection

Thick Time

Everything can be saved. Everything is provisional. A prior action is rescued by that which follows. A drawing abandoned is revived by the next drawing.

The films of Soho Eckstein and Felix Teitlebaum were all made with the principle of NO SCRIPT, NO STORYBOARD. The making of each film was the discovery of what each film was. A first image, phrase, or idea would justify itself in the unfolding of images, connections, and ideas spawned by the work as it progressed. The imperfect erasures of the successive stages of each drawing become a record of the progress of an idea and a record of the passage of time. The smudges of erasure thicken time in the film, but they also serve as a record of the days and months spent making the film—a record of thinking in slow motion.

Johannesburg, 2nd Greatest City After Paris

1989
16mm film transferred to video
8 minutes 2 seconds
Editing
Angus Gibson
Sound
Warwick Sony with music by Duke Ellington; choral music

Monument

1990
16mm film transferred to video
3 minutes 11 seconds
Editing
Angus Gibson
Sound
Catherine Meyburgh
Music
Edward Jordan

Mine

1991
16mm film transferred to video
5 minutes 50 seconds
Editing
Angus Gibson
Music
Dvorak’s Cello Concerto in B Minor, Opus 104

Sobriety, Obesity and Growing Old

1991
16mm film transferred to video
8 minutes 22 seconds
Editing
Angus Gibson
Music
Dvorak’s String Quartet in F, Opus 96; choral music of South Africa; M’appari aria from Friedrich von Flotow’s Martha, sung by Enrico Caruso

Felix in Exile

1994
Animated film
35mm film transferred to video
8 minutes 43 seconds
Editing
Angus Gibson
Sound
Wilbert Schübel
Music
Philip Miller, String Trio for Felix in Exile (musicians: Peta-Ann Holdcroft, Marjan Vonk-Stirling, Jan Pustejovsky); Go Tlapsha Didiba by Motsumi Makhene (sung by Sibongile Khumalo)

History of the Main Complaint

1996
35mm film transferred to video
5 minutes 50 seconds
Editing
Angus Gibson
Sound
Wilbert Schübel
Music
A madrigal by Monteverdi

WEIGHING… and WANTING

1998
35mm film transferred to video
6 minutes 20 seconds
Editing
Angus Gibson and Catherine Meyburgh
Sound
Wilbert Schübel
Music
Philip Miller (musicians: Peta-Ann Holdcroft, Marjan Vonk-Stirling, Ivo Ivanov)

Stereoscope

1999
35mm film transferred to video
8 minutes 22 seconds
Editing
Catherine Meyburgh
Music
Philip Miller (musicians: Peta-Ann Holdcroft, Marjan Vonk-Stirling, Ishmael Kambule, Minas Berberyan)
Sound
Wilbert Schübel

Tide Table

2003
35mm film transferred to video
8 minutes 50 seconds
Editing
Catherine Meyburgh
Music
Likambo Ya Ngana by Franco et le TP O.K. Jazz; singers from the Market Theatre Laboratory
Sound
Wilbert Schübel

Other Faces

2011
35mm film transferred to video
9 minutes 45 seconds
Editing
Catherine Meyburgh
Music and sound design
Philip Miller
Voice
Ann Masina and Bham Ntabeni
Sound mix
Wilbert Schübel and Gavan Eckhart

City Deep

2020
HD video (1920×1080), stereo audio
9 minutes 15 seconds
Editing
Janus Fouché
Music
Imimoya (spirits): composed by Nhlanhla Mahlangu, vocals Xolisile Bongwana, Thulani Zwane, Siphiwe Nkabinde, Zama Maphumulo, Muzi Shili, Mandla Sibanyoni, Sibusiso Shozi
Works for Prepared Piano: composed by John Cage, performed by Markus Hinterhäuser

Johannesburg, 2nd Greatest City After Paris

1989
William_Kentridge_Drawing_for_Projection

Excerpt from complete film

Drawings

Monument

1990
William_Kentridge_Drawing_for_Projection

Excerpt from complete film

Drawings

Mine

1990
William_Kentridge_Drawing_for_Projection

A slow trawling of motives, of connections between the characters in the film and in their world—the world of South Africa since the late 1980s. There is if not a deliberate blindness then certainly a bluntness in the progression of the films: bluntness both in the crude charcoal and fat erasures that are inevitable when using these materials, and in the unrefined succession of images. In the expectation or resignation that in the end, crude or sharp, well or ill, the constellation of images, story, and sound will reveal who one is (who I am, although the first person singular feels an impertinence, or at any rate inadequate. One of the things the films showed was that Soho and Felix were both close to me—not so much a self divided, but the artist as mediator between several different factions of the self. In Stereoscope Soho divides in two; in History of the Main Complaint he becomes eight or nine).

Excerpt from complete film

Drawings

Sobriety, Obesity & Growing Old

1990
William_Kentridge_Drawing_for_Projection

Excerpt from complete film

Drawings

Felix in Exile

1994
William_Kentridge_Drawing_for_Projection

The first Soho film was an indulgence, time out from being an artist, a private pleasure that did not have to make sense to anyone outside the studio. Once the films started to be seen (about three years after the series began), it became harder to reclaim each time the space of not knowing what I was doing. One of the tasks of the years has been to find strategies to keep clarity at a distance. I still rely on a first image, phrase, or idea, but with oceans unknown between them—a sufficient impetus to put the camera in front of the paper and shoot the first frame.

Excerpt from complete film

Drawings

History of the Main Complaint

1996
William_Kentridge_Drawing_for_Projection

Excerpt from complete film

Drawings

Weighing… and Wanting

1998
William_Kentridge_Drawing_for_Projection

The scale of drawings (the largest are an arm’s span, the smallest about a quarter of that), the materials (charcoal, one or two pastels, an eraser, and a cloth of chamois leather), and the format (film, not 4:3 video) stay the same. The gaps between making the films have become longer. City Deep, the most recent in the series (made in 2020), comes nine years after Other Faces, which preceded it. But the start of a new film feels more and more a return to a familiar space—to a refuge for slow time.

Excerpt from complete film

Drawings

Stereoscope

1999
William_Kentridge_Drawing_for_Projection

Excerpt from complete film

Drawings

Tide Table

2003
William_Kentridge_Drawing_for_Projection

The hope (and this is too much to load on the films) is that the succession of images and the connections between them will show not only a way forward for the narrative of the film, not only a revelation of who one is, but also a hint as to how to go forward in the world outside the studio, as if the gradual accretion of marks can somehow lumberingly draw agency into existence.

Excerpt from complete film

Drawings

Other Faces

2011
William_Kentridge_Drawing_for_Projection

Excerpt from complete film

Drawings

City Deep

2020
William_Kentridge_Drawing_for_Projection_City_Deep

Excerpt from complete film

Drawings

An Interview with William Kentridge

Matthew and William Kentridge, October 2012. Conversation for the book "The Soho Chronicles: 10 Films by William Kentridge".

Reading

More projects

Credits: Drawings for Projection

Johannesburg, 2nd Greatest City After Paris

1989
16mm film transferred to video
8 minutes 2 seconds
Editing
Angus Gibson
Sound
Warwick Sony with music by Duke Ellington; choral music

Monument

1990
16mm film transferred to video
3 minutes 11 seconds
Editing
Angus Gibson
Sound
Catherine Meyburgh
Music
Edward Jordan

Mine

1991
16mm film transferred to video
5 minutes 50 seconds
Editing
Angus Gibson
Music
Dvorak’s Cello Concerto in B Minor, Opus 104

Sobriety, Obesity and Growing Old

1991
16mm film transferred to video
8 minutes 22 seconds
Editing
Angus Gibson
Music
Dvorak’s String Quartet in F, Opus 96; choral music of South Africa; M’appari aria from Friedrich von Flotow’s Martha, sung by Enrico Caruso

Felix in Exile

1994
Animated film
35mm film transferred to video
8 minutes 43 seconds
Editing
Angus Gibson
Sound
Wilbert Schübel
Music
Philip Miller, String Trio for Felix in Exile (musicians: Peta-Ann Holdcroft, Marjan Vonk-Stirling, Jan Pustejovsky); Go Tlapsha Didiba by Motsumi Makhene (sung by Sibongile Khumalo)

History of the Main Complaint

1996
35mm film transferred to video
5 minutes 50 seconds
Editing
Angus Gibson
Sound
Wilbert Schübel
Music
A madrigal by Monteverdi

WEIGHING… and WANTING

1998
35mm film transferred to video
6 minutes 20 seconds
Editing
Angus Gibson and Catherine Meyburgh
Sound
Wilbert Schübel
Music
Philip Miller (musicians: Peta-Ann Holdcroft, Marjan Vonk-Stirling, Ivo Ivanov)

Stereoscope

1999
35mm film transferred to video
8 minutes 22 seconds
Editing
Catherine Meyburgh
Music
Philip Miller (musicians: Peta-Ann Holdcroft, Marjan Vonk-Stirling, Ishmael Kambule, Minas Berberyan)
Sound
Wilbert Schübel

Tide Table

2003
35mm film transferred to video
8 minutes 50 seconds
Editing
Catherine Meyburgh
Music
Likambo Ya Ngana by Franco et le TP O.K. Jazz; singers from the Market Theatre Laboratory
Sound
Wilbert Schübel

Other Faces

2011
35mm film transferred to video
9 minutes 45 seconds
Editing
Catherine Meyburgh
Music and sound design
Philip Miller
Voice
Ann Masina and Bham Ntabeni
Sound mix
Wilbert Schübel and Gavan Eckhart

City Deep

2020
HD video (1920×1080), stereo audio
9 minutes 15 seconds
Editing
Janus Fouché
Music
Imimoya (spirits): composed by Nhlanhla Mahlangu, vocals Xolisile Bongwana, Thulani Zwane, Siphiwe Nkabinde, Zama Maphumulo, Muzi Shili, Mandla Sibanyoni, Sibusiso Shozi
Works for Prepared Piano: composed by John Cage, performed by Markus Hinterhäuser