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William Kentridge: The Head & The Load, Tate Modern, Review

Posted by On 6:28 PM

William Kentridge: The Head & The Load, Tate Modern, Review

South African artist William Kentridge’s vast, multi-media live work - one of the last in the 14-18 Live series of commissions - commemorates the hitherto ignored contribution of African soldiers in the First World War.

The precise numbers of those conscripted will probably never be known, but 200,000 are believed to have fought for France, while as many as a million were forcibly enlisted in the British army, 100,000 of whom are thought to have died. There were even more casualties on the German side.

Kentridge’s work, then, serves as a performed monument to these cruelly neglected people. But the sheer weight of the subject held an emotional gun to the viewer’s head from the outset. If you didn’t like the work, would you be doing yet another wrong to the African missing of the Somme?

Kentridge is an artist who thrives on extremes of scale: from illustrations to his innumerable books to full-blown opera productions. Often these extremes are conflated. His 2016 production of Berg’s Lulu at the ENO, for example, seemed to draw the viewer into an animated sketchbook.

The immensely long stage for the Tate Modern production, which ran half the length of the Turbine Hall, was empty save for an upright piano, a large steel megaphone and the silhouette of a stepladder.

Sumber: Google News | Liputan 24 Kepi

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