William Kentridge is South Africa’s best-known artist. But what makes his work so alluring? An exhibition in Hamburg finds out by tracing each stroke of his brush.
The question “What is African Art?” elicits myriad responses from each of the continent’s 54 countries. But in the context of South Africa, the question is especially complicated by its colonial past and the more recent Apartheid era.
Under the oppressive rule of that system, European styles were idealized in South Africa as the gold standard of art and traditional African techniques and designs were denigrated by the regime as “primitive.” But much has changed since the country’s transition to democracy in 1994, with black artists enjoying a lively renaissance. Though William Kentridge is a white contemporary artist, the South African trailblazer has sought not only to shine a light on the crimes of the Apartheid era with his prints, drawings and animation films but also to contextualize their background through storytelling.
The Deichtorhallen Museum in Hamburg is now showing one of the biggest Kentridge retrospectives ever, titled “Why Should I Hesitate: Putting Drawing to Work.” Following a successful run at the Zeitz-MOCAA Museum in Cape Town last year, the exhibition brings hundreds of Kentridge’s works to Germany, many of which will be seen in the country for the first time, recounting the career of one of the world’s most prolific contemporary artists.
Drawing being the basis of nearly all of Kentridge’s work, his depictions of various realities throughout African history are both abstract and representational of concrete issues, events, moments, places and people. Deichtorhallen curator Dirk Luckow says that Kentridge recounts “great dramas of history” with a sense of ease that is almost at odds with what he is actually depicting. The black and white nature of the vast majority of his works reflect this tension in a rather literal manner, yet the meaning and depth behind them are far from being monochrome.
It hardly comes as a surprise then that the artist has also more than just dabbled in directing plays and operas — though the visual arts remain the backbone of his artistic work. This is why Kentridge’s signature style is practically impossible to replicate. He manages to build mystery and purpose onto even the blandest of landscapes in his drawings, paintings, tapestries, sculptures and installations, adding new dimensions to the parched industrial wastelands surrounding Johannesburg and Pretoria that often background his ouevre.
So while there is always a clear intention behind his works, the artist gives plenty of room for interpretation and reflection — as is the case with the 2018 video installation Kaboom! that deals with the colonial history of the African continent.
Another feature of Kentridge’s signature style is his ability to evoke a sense of nostalgia for places and things that outsiders might not commonly relate to. From the assassination of director Pier Paolo Pasolini (Triumphs and Laments, 2016) to the exiled life of Russian revolutionary Leo Trotsky in Istanbul (O Sentimental Machine, 2015), his journeys tap into the shared consciousness of the human condition. Luckow calls these artistic journeys, “sensual time travel.”
The multimedia installation More Sweetly Play The Dance stretches across seven canvasses along nearly 40 meters, showing a procession of silhouettes that highlights various contemporary issues rooted in centuries of exploitation across Africa. Kentridge took inspiration for the work from Africa’s Ebola outbreak, but spins narratives way beyond this tragedy to offer a holistic perspective on contemporary Africa.
From disease to political strife to tribal dance to slavery, the massive artwork chronicles the history of an entire continent by projecting shadows onto an ever-changing “veld” that seems to be suspended somewhere beyond time and space.
Are these silhouettes descending onto Johannesburg, South Africa’s “city of gold,” to try to make as honest a living as they can in the mines? Or are they being chased by traumas of the past?
But instead of lamenting the suffering of the centuries, the slow drama unfolding on the screens is juxtaposed by a beautiful tune played by the African Essemblies Brass Band from Sharpeville — the site of one the biggest Apartheid-era massacres, located just outside Johannesburg.
Riding scales on various brass instruments and referencing kaiso rhythms in the music, the video installation will make its audience feel like they are revisiting a long-lost place they once knew. Simultaneously, however, this masterpiece also features that typical meditative quality of Kentridge’s works that invokes a feeling of only belong to the here and now — which is, of course, no single place or point in time at all.
“Why Should I Hesitate: Putting Drawing to Work” runs through April 18, 2021 at the Deichtorhallen Museum in Hamburg
The Youth Excellence Awards
The Youth Excellence Awards (YEA), Ghana, is an awards scheme which celebrates exceptional and outstanding youth in Ghana. Those who strive to be better, and at the same time they have a positive impact on their society in their various field of work.
The scheme believes that by celebrating, acknowledging and rewarding these extraordinary youth, it helps build a good platform by having a voice and gives opportunities to the new generational leaders’ while building a great attitude in the youth to strive for excellence.
By this awards scheme individual efforts to contribute positively to the economy on the continent by striving hard with dedication and perseverance by overcoming challenges and the unfavourable economy will be admonished.
The awards board consists of Kwame Owusu Danso and John Demelo.
The awarding board is seeking outstanding youth in Leadership, Entrepreneurship, professionals in the Public and Private sectors, Health, Governance, Non-profit sectors and will recognize their achievement in business inventions and innovations and community building.
YEA categories cover a wide range of sectors including; Leadership, Health, Education, Visual Arts, Journalism, Agriculture, Law, Sports, and Technology.
To recognize and celebrate youth leaders who professionally or personally have impacted on youth through outstanding leadership.
To identify projects and achievements spearhead by youth which has produced clear value and chalked success and has benefited society (particularly, the youth)?
It’s a platform that brings all hardworking youth together to network and build business relationships.
To encourage our upcoming youth that excellence and success can be achieved at tender age.
For any individual to be eligible for any category of the awards scheme, the following must be met:
The candidate must be an upcoming (this should be clearly defined) living and doing business in Ghana
Nominees with mutual submissions: nominees who have no advantage over those with one submission. In essence, the selection process will not depend on the number of nominations an individual receives.
Nominations can be anonymous and letters of recommendations are not required.
Nominees must still be a youth by event date (be between the ages of 18 and 40).
Must be a youth leader, Entrepreneur/CEO, Co-founder, or COO of a firm.
Ready to travel to any of the African countries
The brain behind the organization of Youth Excellence Awards is the Clique Empire, which has an enviable record of organizing spectacular and successful events, including, “Take it off pool Rave,” “YES – Today,” and the Youth Excellence Awards.
YEA Ghana will promote and celebrate Africa’s young change-makers, entrepreneurs, and youth leaders from all walks of life. YEA Ghana is a platform for global recognition of individuals as outstanding young achievers and youth leaders. Publication of winners in newspapers and blog sites across Ghana after the event.
I did not cheat on 9ice – Ex-wife, Toni Payne Reveals
9ice’s ex wife, Toni Payne, has revealed that she did not cheat on 9ice, she has however, warned fans to stop coming to her social media page accusing her of cheating on her ex-husband, 9ice.
Toni Payne said this on her Instagram page after a video of 9ice cheating on his wife, Sunkanmi with another woman went viral
There were allegations sometime ago that the marriage between Payne and 9ice crashed because she was cheating on 9ice with Ruggedman.
However, the ex-wife took to her Instagram page on Saturday insisting that she never cheated while she was married to 9ice and cursed those hurling insults at her.
She warned fans to leave her out of the recent drama surrounding 9ice and let her leave her life, adding that she has moved on.
Toni Payne said: “One of the most annoying things I have to deal with is some random idiot coming on my page to accuse me of cheating on my ex, something that never happened. I don’t know how many times I have to say this.
”One of the most annoying things I have to deal woth is some random idiot coming to my page to accuse me of cheating on my ex… something that never happened. I dunno how many times I have to say that song wasn’t about me. I helped mix and master the darn song. I’m a smart woman, why would I help out on a song that would make me look bad?
Anyways, I cursed someone who came to my page with that nonsense and honestly, I do not feel bad. False accusations ae hurtful… I have moved on and they should too. Stop coming on my page about imaginary nonsense from 10 years ago. Let me enjoy my peaceful and wonderful lie without morbid reminders. Anyone who spreads lies about me or comes to harass me about something I did not do will NEVER know peace and favor. I say this from the deepest place of my heart. Free me, abeg.
It’s been 10 years, move on and stop accusing me of cheating on my ex-husband, 9ice. I don’t know why people keep coming to my page with this, I’ve moved on please leave me alone. The fact I have to deal with this 10 years later is annoying but please leave me out of this bullshit because I don’t want any part of this.”
This is coming after 9ice publicly apologised to his wife for cheating on her.
Charly Boy’s Reactions To His Daughter, Dewy Oputa’s Allegations Of Him Being A Clout Chaser.
Charley Boy’s daughter, Dewy Oputa called her father out after he went online to reveal how he feels about her being gay. The Nigerian singer took to his twitter to express his feelings on how he felt when his daughter came out to him. He said he felt so many emotions but added that he loves her so much and he is “grateful for the experience of having a gay or lesbian child”.
Dewy, who had once slammed her father in 2018 when he took to Instagram to praise her for being bold after she came out publicly, left a comment on her father’s recent Instagram post, calling him a clout chaser and accused him of using her story for “follows”. Dewy accused her father of gaslighting and using her for clout after he went online to say he’s proud to have a lesbian daughter. She claimed he says one thing online just to be “father of the year” but offline he doesn’t care if she’s alive or not.
She wrote: “But just a few days ago… you know what never mind, we already did this in 2018. Imma let you post your lil content for your follows.”
Charley Boy responded, begging her and telling her how proud he is of her and how much he loves her, and wrote a long piece reacting to his daughter’s accusation.
In an Instagram post, he pointed out that being a parent is hard.He wrote: “Any Fool can have a child and call themselves a Parent. A real Parent is someone who puts that child above their own selfish needs.”
In another post, he addressed his daughter’s criticisms and said it has opened his eyes and exposed him to the huge growing community of LGBTQ people in Nigeria. He went on to advise parents who have LGBTQ children to be more understanding.
He wrote: ”Urgent Info for Parents.Hummm, ogaooo.I swear Parenting is not an easy somethingoooo. Na me and my Baby, Dewy dey trend these days. Shey una see as my Princess dey tackle me. My post a few days ago, about my daughters right to her sexuality, opened my eyes and exposed me to the Huge growing community of LGTBQ’s in Nigeria. Ol boy, e shock me. I can’t lie. My People, as I wake yesterday I setup a hotline for young people who have challenges communicating with their parent/parents, who needed a listening ear. I was on the phone, from 9am till 11.45pm, recorded over a thousand calls before I lost count. I had to shut down, my ears don full. I heard stories dat made me teary eyed, the emotional trauma the LGTBQs community is going through amongst the numerous wahala we face in dis country.
Parents must understand that sometimes their child will probably not live the life they dreamed for them and this has nothing to do with being good parents or bad parents. Our influence and nurture for our kids it’s not more than 25%, 75% of their lives is under attack by external influences, social media, peer pressure, what they pickup in school, etc etc.
We should sometimes allow our children to unfold but not without guidance and laying good values, morals, believe in self and always encouraging them to be their authentic self, as they grow.
Our children have their own hang ups you must know., weather you feel they are childish, immature or fall short of your picture of them. They’ve struggles too and suffer from internal turmoil—don’t make them feel any worse. Imagine their internal struggle when these confusing feelings arise.
Our society is filled with hypocrisy, lesbianism/homosexuality started way before social media, predominantly in the north. Now, it in our churches, Nollywood, House of assembly, even in Aso Rock, it’s everywhere my People, and we must educate ourselves to have a better understanding of this phenomenon.
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