7th Havana Biennial -  Home November 2000 - January 2001Home
William Kentridge - Text and video stills
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The video stills are taken by Binder/Haupt in Havana.
© Copyright for the images: William Kentridge
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Shadow Procession

Extract from an essay by Ari Sitas
In his animation titled Shadow Procession (1999), Kentridge uses the techniques of shadow-theatre: instead of working with drawings he creates dark cut-out forms who are then made to parade from the left hand side of the screen to the right.

Shadow Procession starts with an emotive display, figures choreographed to move against the haunting hymnody of a Johannesburg street-musician. Rows of displacees with their burdens, their stacks, including a miner dangling from the gallows, including workmen carrying entire neighbourhoods and city-scapes. We do not know where they coming from or whether they are fleeing or where they are going, but in their movement we know they are determined to get there.

A second part starts with echoes of the militant toyi-toyi chants of South Africa's insurrection, punctuated by militarised and combative slogans. We see the Ubu figure, an actor's shadow with an oversized belly and the Jarry "hood" with larger than life hands dancing in total satisfaction and self-absorption to the rhythms of drums.

A self-confident cat follows - dancing to the rhythm, limbs and motion against the call and response slogans. The sequence then explodes into the frenetic rhythms and brass of a marching band, and a new parade of cut-out figures, now totally anarchic.

The text has been sent to us by William Kentridge.
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Kentridge - 1 Tour

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