Through art, this South African artist inspires critical ideology debates

Popular ASouth African artist William Kentridge persuades the art aficionados who walk into Kochi Muziris Biennale to engage in a critical conversation with life and culture in the colonial countries.

His work titled “Oh To Believe in a Better World”, an immersive film projection set in an abandoned Soviet museum, is one of the invitations programme of Kochi Muziris Biennale 2022.

The installation explores the immense possibilities of performing arts and films to inspire contemporary ideological debates.

As the title suggests, the artist refers to the concept of utopia, the wish for it, and the futile struggles for its realisation.

According to Kentridge, people are good at making connections, though not intended by the artist.

“As an artist, I’ve my own perspective and stance. The audience can agree with them or reject them. But there is always scope for creative debates,” said the South African.

The arguments around authoritarianism in “Oh To Believe in a Better World” will inspire the audience of Kochi Muziris Biennale to consider the current political situation.

“The struggles of the art and literary activists in the western countries like scarcity, oppression, and repression, are relevant elsewhere in this modern era,” opined Kentridge, who has also excelled in his roles as an animator, a filmmaker, and an activist.

“I have always been interested in the artistic experiments of the constructivists. I also tried to apply the new ways of filmmaking,” he adds.

The medium uses elements of divisive theatre, puppetry, music, stop-frame animation, collage, and tapestry.

The 67-year-old multi-talented artist has received several international recognitions, including Spain’s prestigious Princess of Asturias Award.




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