The drawings are made on the pages of an old cash book from East Rand Proprietary Mines from 1906 (with a few from other mine ledgers), in which the text under the drawings, either covered or glimpsed, is an important part of the history of the drawing. What is hidden by the landscape? What traces are left in the landscape by the actions upon it? In what way does nature reclaim this damaged ground and erase its history?
His works were made over a three year period, and range from the East Rand to the platinum belt. Accompanying the exhibition is a launch of a book which reproduces the drawings and includes a text by Rosalind Morris, Professor of Anthropology at Columbia University. Part detective story, part archival history, part anthropological reverie, Morris’s text reads between the lines to find evidence of the vast webs that linked South Africa to other parts of Africa, China, the United States, and Australia in an early moment of the globalising economy.
William Kentridge was born in 1955 and studied at the Johannesburg Art Foundation and the Ecole Jacques Lecoq in Paris. His work has featured at institutions such as Tate Modern, London; Centre Pompidou, Paris; the Louvre, Paris; and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.