William Kentridge

Year of birth, place
1955, Johannesburg, South Africa

William Kentridge (*1955 in Johannesburg) grew up in South Africa during the apartheid system. He stems from Lithuanian-Jewish heritage, his parents being attorneys who represented people marginalized by the apartheid system. Kentridge studied Politics and African Studies at the University of the Witwatersrand and Fine Arts at the Johannesburg Art Foundation. In the early 1980s, he went to L’École Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq in Paris and later worked as actor and director. After he had worked on drawings and prints, Kentridge started producing animation films. These are constructed by filming a drawing, making erasures and changes, and filming it again until a scene is finished. In his works he reflects the history and social conditions of South Africa, in more recent times also the social and cultural grievances which occur with industrialization and political oppression worldwide. In the work process Kentridge superimposes different media, e.g. books, drawing, collage, dance, music, theatrical performance, shadow play, film, computer animation, projection. With each medium change the image is transformed and the result is a complex layering of media and meaning. His works are collected and exhibited by the world’s leading museums. Kentridge has been participant of the Venice Biennale and documenta numerous times.