William Kentridge b. 1955
Other Faces (2011)
William Kentridge’s Other Faces has been drawn and filmed over the past year. It will be shown at Goodman Gallery Johannesburg in conjunction with a group of working drawings used in the film’s animation, as well as drawing fragments and prints. As with other films in the Drawings for Projection series, the artist uses a 35 mm movie camera to film the successive stages of charcoal drawings that are progressively altered through erasure and overdrawing.
Other Faces returns to the figure of Soho Eckstein, the industrialist and developer who is the key protagonist of the Drawings for Projection series. In this cycle of nine films created from 1989 through 2003, Kentridge addresses the doubling and contrary sides of the self, personified in the entrepreneur/capitalist Soho and his foil, the poet/ lover Felix.
In this most recent work, pin-striped Soho Eckstein moves through a series of collisions of circumstances and recollection. In the film, the city of Johannesburg – inconstant, desperate, desiring, impenetrable – appears not so much as context as it does subject, in images of streets, facades, landscapes, and people. Familiar and recent attributes of the city appear, with one image not just suggesting another image but indicating a connection to displaced emotions and displaced histories. There are references to the street corner civil wars of daily life, and to the xenophobic violence of the last few years. Philip Miller, the Johannesburg composer who has worked with William Kentridge over many projects, composed the music for the film. Catherine Meyburgh, video editor for most of the artist’s video work, is the editor.