Rencontré à Arles: William Kentridge’s More Sweetly Play the Dance

William Kentridge Bio Photo

William Kentridge is a South African artist known for his prints and drawings. In this spectacular installation at Arles, he has combined video, music and hand-drawn animation to produce an immersive work.

The format is 8 large screens organised in a semi-circle around a number of chairs. The viewer is therefore encircled by a procession of dancing figures containing brass bands, live and animated figures.

William Kentridge: More Sweetly Play the Dance Photo: The Paris Review

William Kentridge: More Sweetly Play the Dance
Photo: The Paris Review

The Luma Arles site describes the work as follows:

More Sweetly Play the Dance (2015) is a multiscreen installation depicting a caravan procession that stretches from floor to ceiling, forty meters in length. It encircles the viewer, depicting a dancing column of animated drawings and videos of dancers who, led by a brass band, enact a Danse Macabre: sickly figures are supported by IV drips, priests move almost jauntily while carrying funeral flowers, and columns of people march forward while dragging sacks and dead bodies.

The effect is very involving and entertaining. The show moves through several themes of life and death all pulled together by music, the marchers and various dancing figures. There is considerable complexity in the work due to multiple stories being told at once as the procession goes from left to right around the viewer. This kind of work goes a long way beyond conventional media to mix and match different elements, but all subservient to the overall theme. Strongly recommended.

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2 thoughts on “Rencontré à Arles: William Kentridge’s More Sweetly Play the Dance

  1. Pingback: Research Point: image and text | Darryl's Context & Narrative Learning Log

  2. Pingback: Exercise: Image and Text | Darryl's Context & Narrative Learning Log

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