William Kentridge's moving image piece More Sweetly Play The Dance at Marian Goodman Gallery is the most heartrending artwork I have seen to date. This immersive film installation on the top floor of the gallery comprised of a life-size charcoal drawing of a landscape as its backdrop. It looked to be partly animated with birds taking flight and the scratchy grey sky turning ever moody. 

 

Looming large, the film wraps you up with a single file procession of dancers, almost whirling dervishes, priests, patients with saline drips, skeletons, politicians and an African brass band playing a haunting and mesmerising soundtrack. A series of descending and repetitive musical scales, banging drums and soulful singing draw you in and hypnotise you to take notice. Each one of these cavorters, walkers or refugees carries a black cut-out silhouette of propagandist portraits and bird cages in the form of banners.

 

Kentridge's film alludes to decades of a failed apartheid but also has such relevance today. It reminds the viewer of the displacements happening around the world and this all too familiar scene of a single file of people walking; relentlessly from border to border or country to country, has such poignance and you can’t help but be moved.

 

Kentridge’s work inspires me to make work that is more meaningful, how I do this, I don’t know at present. His use of cut-outs and of hand drawn elements combined within the film is a striking and touching combinationWow William you made me weep!

 

 

press here for More Sweetly Plays the Dance