Starting on 25 April, EYE is presenting the exhibition If We Ever Get to Heaven, featuring work by the celebrated South African artist William Kentridge.
Kentridge achieved renown with his remarkable animations, charcoal drawings and installations. He is also active as an opera and theatre director. It is for the first time that such an extensive exhibition featuring a number of installations by Kentridge has been presented in the Netherlands.
Specially for EYE, Kentridge developed More Sweetly Play the Dance, a frieze of moving images measuring some 45 meters in length. In addition to this new work, EYE is presenting three other large works by Kentridge, including the impressive film installation on eight screens entitled I Am Not Me, the Horse Is Not Mine from 2008, based on The Nose, a short story by the Russian writer Nikolai Gogol from 1836. Also on view is Other Faces (2011), the tenth and most recent work in the series Drawings for Projection (1989-2011).
A major recurring theme in the work of Kentridge is the charged history of his native South Africa. Often applying drawn and erased animations and simple pre-cinema techniques, Kentridge succeeds in capturing this conflict in all its complexity, and sketches a world full of social inequality.
In addition to his viual work, William Kentridge works as a director in opera and theatre. He worked for a number of years with the Netherlands Opera and the Holland Festival on, among others, Monteverdi’s Il ritorno d’Ulisse in 2003 and Schubert’s Winterreise in 2014. During the upcoming Holland Festival, he will direct Alan Berg’s opera Lulu, for which he drew inspiration from the silent films of the 1920s and ‘30s (including those in the EYE Collection), the era in which Lulu was created.
The exhibition was initiated and curated by Jaap Guldemond in collaboration with Marente Bloemheuvel.
Accompanying the exhibition is a lavishly illustrated publication titled More Sweetly Play the Dance, which documents the making of the new work in words and pictures, and includes a text by William Kentridge. Language: English. Published by EYE and nai010publishers.
The exhibition is being accompanied by a comprehensive accompanying program in the cinemas, with William Kentridge himself being a guest twice:
Between Brothers – The Soho Chronicles
1 May, 7:30pm
With Matthew Kentridge’s book The Soho Chronicles (2015) as a starting point, the brothers William and Matthew Kentridge talk about the two main characters of the series Drawings for Projection (William Kentridge, 1989–2011).
10 May 2015, 4:30 pm
In his work, William Kentridge – currently the subject of an exhibition in EYE – regularly returns to the tradition of the shadow play, or ombres chinoises, Chinese shadows, as the shows were called in the artistic circles of late 19th-century Montmartre, which was also the cradle of animation. Event presented by film historian Edwin Carels.
28 May, 7:15pm
William Kentridge and Pierre Audi discuss the era and cultural environment in which Alban Berg’s opera Lulu was created. Featuring clips from Weimar films from EYE’s collection, including Berlin, die Sinfonie einer Grossstadt (1927) and Der blaue Engel (1930).
The Screen as Memory – South Africa and Apartheid
25 June, 7:15pm
The South African anti-Apartheid activist and judge Albie Sachs discusses the history of his country on the basis of the documentary Soft Vengeance: Albie Sachs and the New South Africa (Abbie Ginzberg, 2014). Preceded by Johannesburg, 2nd Greatest City After Paris (Kentridge, 1989). In collaboration with the Prince Claus Fund.
On Your Feet: A Parade of Flash Lectures
29 August, 8pm
The parade is a form that Kentridge often deploys, for instance in his newest work More Sweetly Play the Dance. Film images of processions of people move across the walls of the EYE film theatre, while the audience listens to short lectures about ancient Greek processions, grotesque parades and walking philosophers.
For more information about the film programmes, see eyefilm.nl/kentridge.
William Kentridge – If We Ever Get to Heaven was made possible with support from the Ammodo Fund.
EYE Filmmuseum Amsterdam
1031 KT Amsterdam