A new video titled “Ball” from Everynone, which gained a lot of its following from collaborating with RadioLab and WNYC (their video “Moments” makes me tear up every time).
The above piece reminded me of our program with artist William Kentridge from March 2010 called “Learning from the Absurd”….
PAUL HOLDENGRÄBER: So you wouldn’t walk similarly, let’s say, if you were walking with an ear than if you were walking with a nose.
WILLIAM KENTRIDGE: No, no, I think that’s right.
PAUL HOLDENGRÄBER: And it’s quite important.
WILLIAM KENTRIDGE: Because, you see with an ear, with an ear you’ve got a circular, an ear is a circular object, so there’s a sense of a circular movement built into the way an ear might listen, but the nose is kind of you following—shifts at quite an angular—
PAUL HOLDENGRÄBER: You’re led by the nose in a different way.
WILLIAM KENTRIDGE: You’re led by the nose in a very different way. It’s the same way when you’re drawing a cat, for example. A cat—the principle of a cat is its spine. You have a sense that the cat is made by the spine, so a cat is always a line, so you draw any rough line, and you smush around with charcoal around it and you’ve got a cat, okay. Whereas a dog you have a sense—a dog is always led by its nose, so you have a single point that’s moving where a dog sniffs, so that’s a difference. So that’s a kind of a grammar of animals, if you want to say, for drawing or for performing.
Watch/listen to the whole program here… and watch the Conversation Portrait from the evening here…
WILLIAM KENTRIDGE: I’ll tell you a story. A German scientist, Felix Eberty, had come to understand that the speed of light had a fixed speed and wasn’t instantaneous, and he worked out that everything that had been seen on earth was moving out from earth at the speed of light, so instead of having space as a vacuum, he described it as suffused with images of everything that had happened on earth. You would just have to be at the right distance from earth to be at the right moment to see what had happened in the archive—to see anything that had happened—so if you had to start 2000 light years away, in his terms you could see the crucifixion. If you were 500 light years away, you could see Dürer making his Melancholia print, which is 500 years old now.
I was intrigued with the idea of space full of this archive of images that was spreading out. I thought of that in terms of a ceiling projection with all these images…[But] it was jettisoned because it was very complicated in terms of the physical projection. How would you see it? Would everybody have mirrors to look at the ceiling to look from down below (which I had done before)? At one stage we had a whole Room of Failures, which was all the things that didn’t work, which we still could have done. —from “Death, Time, Soup: A Conversation with William Kentridge and Peter Galison” by Margaret K. Koerner
Drawing by the NYPL’s Artist in Residence, Flash Rosenberg, from LIVE’s awesome, informative show with Stacy Schiff and Amanda Foreman about Cleopatra: A Life. Flash creates Conversation Portraits, which are makeshift animations…sort of a slice of her brain while listening to a program. Check out this one from our William Kentridge event and keep an eye out for Cleopatra in the future!
Check out this short, but beautiful, piece from William Kentridge who came to LIVE March of last year. That was also the time he debuted as a Metropolitan Opera director for Shostakovich’s The Nose, which was highly, highly acclaimed.