William Kentridge in conversation with András Szántó, Paul Wells and Sarah Wilson
The Courtauld Institute of Art, Somerset House, Strand, London
- William Kentridge: multidisciplinary artist working in drawing, film, prints, theatre and opera design András Szántó, author and cultural advisor
- Paul Wells: Professor and Director of the Animation Academy, Loughborough University
- Sarah Wilson: Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art, The Courtauld Institute, University of London
- András Szántó
- Professor Sarah Wilson: on the eve of “Kovásznai – A Cold War Artist. Animation. Painting. Freedom” at Somerset House (3-5 March 2016)
Ticket / entry details:Open to all, free admission
Registration is closed but spaces will be available on the dayTickets Unavailable
This discussion will explore the playing field that opens up to artists under the peculiar circumstances of societies that are neither free nor just. William Kentridge first achieved international recognition in the 1990s, with a series of what he called “drawings for projection”, short animated films made from charcoal drawings that address life in Johannesburg during and after apartheid. In 2011, he exhibited in Budapest in conjunction with the Hungarian painter and animator György Kovásznai (1934-1983) and discovered their parallel practice. Animation, a form of filmmaking that flourished in Eastern and Central Europe under socialism from the 1960s to the 1980s, occasionally formed dynamic alliances with fine art. Through the lens of fine art animation, the conversation will explore under-appreciated strands of late 20th century art and a form of expression that has since moved to the centre of the art world’s sphere of interest.
András Szántó is the co-author and editor of five books and numerous research reports, he is a contributing editor for The Art Newspaper and co-founder of ArtworldSalon. His writings have appeared in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Artforum, Museum Practice, and many other publications. He has lectured in art business and art marketing at the Sotheby’s Institute of Art, New York, and has been the director of the National Arts Journalism Program and the NEA Arts Journalism Institute at Columbia University. He has been a visiting critic at the American Academy in Rome, a visiting senior fellow at the Center for Arts and Culture in Washington, DC, and a research affiliate of the Center for Arts and Cultural Policy Studies at Princeton University. As a consultant he advises leading museums, foundations, and corporations on cultural strategies and program development worldwide, and he is a regular moderator of the Art Basel Conversations series. He earned his PhD from Columbia University in 1995 with a dissertation analyzing the institutional transformation of the New York art world.
Professor Paul Wells is Director of the Animation Academy, Loughborough University, UK. He has published widely in Animation Studies, including ‘Understanding Animation’,’Animation and America’,’Animation : Genre and Authorship’, ‘Fundamentals of Animation’, ‘Halas & Batchelor Cartoons : An Animated History’ (with Vivien Halas), ‘Drawing for Animation’ (with Joanna Quinn), ‘Re-Imagining Animation’ (with Johnny Hardstaff) and his latest book ‘Animation, Sport & Culture’ (Palgrave 2014). He is also an established writer and director in film, TV, radio and theatre, and conducts workshops and consultancies worldwide based on his book, Scriptwriting (AVA 2007). His most recent documentary is Whispers & Wererabbits: Clare Jennings (NMM/AA 2014). Paul is Chair of the Association of British Animation Collections (ABAC), a collaborative initiative with the BFI, BAFTA and the National Media Museum.
Over the last three decades South African William Kentridge (b. 1955) has developed a vast multidisciplinary practice that includes drawing, film animation, artist’s books, printmaking, collage and theatrical performance. He first achieved international recognition in the 1990s, with a series of what he called “drawings for projection”, short animated films made from charcoal drawings that address life in Johannesburg during and after apartheid. In a nuanced engagement with a range of social, political, and private conditions, Kentridge’s work explores the ambivalent and often contradictory dynamics between victims, bystanders and aggressors. His long-standing interest in theatre – sparked by his participation in experimental productions in Johannesburg in the 1970s, and more recently extending into opera – has informed the dramatic character of his art, and he remains one of the few figures to successfully bridge the fields of visual art, film, and theatre.
Professor Sarah Wilson’s recent publications include The Visual World of French Theory: Figurations (Yale, 2010) and Picasso / Marx and socialist realism in France (Liverpool, 2013). She was principal curator of Paris, Capital of the Arts, 1900-1968 (Royal Academy London, Guggenheim Bilbao, 2002-3); Pierre Klossowski, Whitechapel Art Gallery, 2006 (touring to Cologne and Paris)and co-curator of the First Asian Biennale / Fifth Guangzhou Biennale, 2015. A close relationship with the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris has extended throughout her career, while she has also taught at Paris-I and Paris-IV, Sorbonne, the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, and held a Chair of Excellence at the University of Versailles, Saint Quentin. Sarah Wilson was appointed Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the French government in 1997 and in 2015 was given the AICA International award for distinguished contribution to art criticism. Her former students hold university, curatorial and other art world positions in many different countries.