THEMATIC: Working Across Media


Performance of "I am not me, the horse is not mine," 2008. Lecture/performance with front projection, DVcam and HDV transferred to DVD, live performance, duration of 45 minutes. Photo by John Hodgkiss. © William Kentridge. Courtesy of the artist.

Creating art in different media can introduce new ways to express and explore ideas. William Kentridge is inspired by a variety of disciplines, and the artist often mixes film, drawing, animation, and sculpture to create a single work of art. In his film segment, the artist uses approaches from his theater background to create rich visual and performative experiences for his viewers. View the segment, and discuss how Kentridge mixes media and ideas from many disciplines.

Consider other artists who work across different media, including Gabriel Orozco, Yinka Shonibare MBE, Pierre Huyghe, and IƱigo Manglano-Ovalle.


SEGMENT: William Kentridge in "Compassion"

Before Viewing
Discuss an artist who works simultaneously in more than one discipline, such as visual art and theater. What kinds of work does this artist produce? How is it similar to or different from the work of artists who focus on a single discipline?

While Viewing
Identify the artworks in which Kentridge mixes media. In what ways do these projects reflect Kentridge's preference for play or for working without a plan?

After Viewing
Kentridge is interested in the process of seeing and the ways that we construct the world by looking. How does his work communicate that interest?

Create
Kentridge says that he enjoys "staying in the looseness," of trying different things. Create a work of art that begins in one medium, such as drawing, and then attempt to add another medium that may seem unrelated, such as performance. This can be done at random: by writing a list of mediums, putting them in a hat, then pulling out one medium to begin the work with, and a second medium to continue the work.