Skip to navigation Skip to main content

William Kentridge

Known for his short animated films of great poetic power as well as for his vision of post-apartheid society, the South African artist William Kentridge (1955) was inspired in this case by the novel by Italo Svevo The Conscience of Zeno (1923). Kentridge concentrates on the main character whose fears and interior torments reflect the social violence and the brutality of the First World War. Through Zeno, the artist explores the development of notions of history and belonging as well as the way in which our identities are defined by social and political changes. Unlike traditional animated cinema based on thousands of drawings, Kentridge composes his work using a small series of drawings which are successively erased, redrawn and photographed throughout the various stages of creation, which he then mixes with paper cut-outs and archive images. This technique, which he has made his own, thus perfectly illustrates the process of memory which erases, alters and gives rise to multiple images.


  1. William Kentridge Zeno Writing, 2002

    Film 16mm numérisé et vidéo, noir et blanc, son
    11 min 16 sec
    Collection Mudam Luxembourg
    Acquisition 2003
    © Photo : John Berens / Marian Goodman Gallery

The most important collection of contemporary art in Luxembourg Explore the Mudam Collection