The Head & The Load, 2020
Pages: 348 pages / 240 images
Original Title: William Kentridge The Head & The Load are the trouble of the neck
Originally published by: Xavier Barral
With contributions from Philip Miller, Thuthuka Sibisi, Gregory Magoma, Homi K. Bhabha, David Olusoga
US September 01, 2020
UK April 03, 2020
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The Head & The Load, 2020
Explore William Kentridge's remarkable performance piece, The Head & The Load, and discover how music, dance, writing, and fine art are combined to tell the haunting story of Africans during WWI.
For over thirty years, William Kentridge has been combining fine arts, performance, theatre, and opera to create dreamlike, political, and humanist works. His installations , films, and drawings often deal with the political situation in South Africa, apartheid, and the consequences of colonialism.
This book gives an in-depth examination of his performance piece The Head & The Load, which explores the role of Africa during World War I. Throughout the war, more than one million Africans carried provisions and military equipment in hazardous conditions for British, French, and German troops at minimal or no pay. William Kentridge tells the story of these African porters who ensured the success of the victors, but remain in the shadows.
This history, rarely studied today, unfolds in a staged tableau combining music, dance, acting, screenings, and mechanized sculptures. The book includes photos and text from the performance, essays, and artworks created specifically by Kentridge to complement the play. Accompanied by an international cast of singers, actors, and dancers, and with music composed by Philip Miller, The Head & The Load is a powerful and multifaceted work that reconsiders colonial history and its repercussions in today's world.
Often drawing from socio-political conditions in post-apartheid South Africa, William Kentridge’s work takes on a form that is expressionist in nature.
William Kentridge was born in 1955 in Johannesburg, South Africa where he currently lives and works. Often drawing from socio-political conditions in post-apartheid South Africa, William Kentridge’s work takes on a form that is expressionist in nature. For Kentridge, the process of recording history is constructed from reconfigured fragments to arrive at a provisional understanding of the past—this act of recording, dismembering and reordering crosses over into an essential activity of the studio. His work spans a diverse range of artistic media such as drawing, performance, film, printmaking, sculpture and painting. Kentridge has also directed a number of acclaimed operas and theatrical productions.
Kentridge is the recipient of honorary doctorates from several universities including Yale and the University of London. In 2012 he presented the Charles Eliot Norton lectures at Harvard University. In 2013 he served as Humanitas Visiting Professor in Contemporary Art at Oxford University, and Distinguished Visiting Humanist at the University of Rochester, New York, and in 2015 he was appointed an Honorary Academician of the Royal Academy in London. In 2017 he received the Princesa de Asturias Award for the Arts, Spain, and in 2018, the Antonio Feltrinelli International Prize, Italy. Previous awards include the Kyoto Prize, Japan (2010), the Oskar Kokoschka Award, Vi...Read more
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