Lia Rumma Gallery in Milan is pleased to announce the personal exhibition of William Kentridge, which is being held at the same time as the events at Teatro alla Scala (The Magic Flute), Palazzo Reale (WILLIAM KENTRIDGE & MILANO. Arte, musica, teatro), Palazzo della Triennale (What Will Come, has Already Come) and Teatro Verdi (Woyzeck on the Highveld). The exhibition opens March 19, 2011, at 11.00 am with the performance of the artist entitled “I am not me the horse is not mine". The performance will be held on the ground floor in the main space of the gallery which will be completely darkened and used as a theatre. It will last about forty minutes. At the end of this extraordinary live event, the space will be rearranged to house the homonymous installation with 8 video projections. The title of the work derives from a Russian rural proverb used to deny guilt and used by Bukharin, the faithful lieutenant of Lenin, in a session of the Central Committee in 1937 in an attempt to escape the Stalinist “purge” and, eventually, death. Both the talk/performance and the video installation are inspired by Gogol’s story “The Nose”, turned into an opera in 1930 by Dimitri Shostakovich in the climate of Stalinist repression. In the performance, Kentridge explores the literary precedents of the story and plays at reaching an agreement between his self, divided between his physical body, his shadows and the continuous entrance of other William Kentridges in the form of video projections. The 8 films are also part of the ambitious project in which the artist was involved both as a set designer and director of the opera at the Metropolitan Opera - Lincoln Centre in New York in March 2010. The opera will soon be performed again at the forthcoming Aix en Provence Festival, in July 2011. The exhibition continues on the first floor with the epic story of the “Nose” as an equestrian hero, and of his antiheroic and don quixotesque horse, transformed into the more traditional expressive means of a tapestry and a bronze statue. Two monumental tapestries made by the artist, together with small bronze sculptures, interact with the same themes, alternating between solids and voids as on a theatre stage. The installation is completed with a large steel sculpture mounted on the large terrace outside the gallery and dedicated to South African women who, at dusk, carry burning coals in containers balanced on their heads. Entitled “Firewalker”, the statue is the reduced scale prototype (3 m) of an imposing public statue made in Johannesburg in 2009. The second floor of the gallery contains exhibitions of large and small drawings that depict a range of subjects: fields with olive trees, typical of Mediterranean flora, mythological figures or figures that have been completely reinvented by the artist, watercolours which have inspired the new mosaics displayed for the first time, the latest work of the artist following his numerous visits to Naples and Pompeii. Other works on display include the marvelous charcoal drawings of film cameras and the artist himself who portrays himself as a scribe. These images, taken from the artist’s forays into Egyptian art for his studies of the sets for the Magic Flute – and subsequently from his recent work for the Louvre entitled "Carnet d'Egypte" - show the association between the recording/documentary activities through writing and drawing and the device for recording reality mechanically used by Kentridge as an extraordinary artistic medium. Lastly, there is a reference to his latest project, “Refusal of Time”, a work in progress for the forthcoming “Documenta 13”, due to be held at Kassel in June 2012 to which the artist has been invited.
William Kentridge (born Johannesburg, South Africa, 1955) is internationally acclaimed for his drawings, films, theatre and opera productions. His method combines drawing, writing, film, performance, music, theatre, and collaborative practices to create works of art that are grounded in politics, science, literature and history, whilst yet maintaining a space for