Monday, April 09, 2007

Mozart, Schikaneder, And Kentridge: An Exuberant Dialogue Between Drawing And Music [And Drama]

"Picasso’s flashlight draws a centaur in the air, Matisse’s brush hovers over the paper before committing itself to the first stroke, Jackson Pollock pours arcs of thick paint: all famous examples of the artist’s hand caught on film in the act of creation, in a particular kind of theater.

And exactly this theatricality is the hallmark of William Kentridge, the South African artist who at nearly 52 is an unlikely star of the international art scene. Mr. Kentridge’s medium is charcoal: he draws an image, photographs it, erases and redraws it many times to create evocative video animations that at once tell stories and convey the narrative of the act of drawing.

From here to live theater is a small step, one Mr. Kentridge has now attempted on his largest scale yet. After a series of puppet operas (including a moving adaptation of Monteverdi’s “Ritorno d’Ulisse,” seen in New York in 2004) he undertook in 2005 a full production of Mozart’s “Magic Flute” for La Monnaie, the Royal Opera House in Belgium. That production opens tonight at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

The result is an exuberant dialogue between drawing and music, a three-dimensional work of art with video projected across and around the human figures onstage." ...

Anne Midgette "Artist’s Video Adds Magic to ‘Flute’" New York Times April 9, 2007

Zeno (Dawid Minnar) on his bed in William Kentridge's The Confessions of Zeno.

Photo credit: (c) Ruphin Coudyzer via ARTTHROB Reviews. With thanks.


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