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William Kentridge, "Zeno Writing", 2002, Collection Mudam Luxembourg
William Kentridge. Zeno Writing

Collection presentation

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.