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becomes a kind of carousel. They tell me that’s what the film feels like: you’re just using this raw material to draw’. And that’s true, that’s what
a carousel, a thing that’s constantly revolving, going up and down, artists do. You do scavenge and take. All art is using the experience of
changing… And this is a strange social space, because it’s watched not pain, whether it’s our own pain or other people’s pain – it’s grist to the
by everybody facing the same way, but by standing in a circle, focusing mill. But knowing that the idiosyncrasies of the photograph are what’s
inwards. needed for the drawing to happen doesn’t feel to me like an abuse of
those photographs or of the people represented in them. Most of the
When you delineate a character, are you hoping to encourage bodies occur in the landscape, and it’s about the landscape absorbing
empathy with an individual or the recognition of an archetype? the bodies, like the disappearance of memory.
I never have a specific reference as to who the person I’m drawing Who do you see as precursors to your work at an ideological level?
is, whether it’s from a drawing or a photograph. Although it’s a
more interesting drawing when I think I’m going to draw someone, Whenever I start a new project, I read [Vladimir] Mayakovsky:
doesn’t matter who, doesn’t matter what. It doesn’t mean that it is a A Tragedy [1913]. A new project I’m working on is trying to get close to
fascination with that person, but it has to do with an understanding of that in spirit. When I think of a new film, part of my head always goes
the connection between an individual and the drawing, even though back to Man with a Movie Camera by Dziga Vertov [1929]. That is the
you’re never going to know who that person is. Felix in Exile [1994] has way to make a film. How does one get back to that? And I’m working
a lot dead bodies lying in a field, [and] each of those are based on very on the Shostakovich opera at the moment, which is based on the
specific forensic photographs. Gogol short story The Nose, and I’ve just started working on a smaller
There are people that say I am exploiting these unknown people: theatre piece that will have seven musicians and one narrator that’s kind
‘you don’t know who they are, you don’t know who their families are and of like the story at the end of that short story. It is a way of looking at
Will Kentridge.indd 75 7/3/08 10:29:16
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