By Ben Messih
I was first introduced to the work of South African artist William Kentridge in 2008 at the 16th Biennale of Sydney. Kentridge’s works, I am not me, the horse is not mine (2008; installation of eight film fragments, DVCAM, HDV transferred to video) and What will come (has already come) (2007; steel table, cylindrical steel mirror, 35mm animated film transferred to video) were exhibited in the beautifully derelict Cockatoo Island. These installations – amongst Kentridge’s most accomplished to date – had a profound impact on me: technically masterful, poignant, satirical and insightful. The language of Kentridge moved me as I had never been moved by a work of art before. Subsequently, four years after first falling in love with his political, poetic synthesis I found myself at Melbourne’s Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) to revisit his work in the acclaimed major traveling retrospective William Kentridge: Five Themes.