Kentridge’s installation I Am Not Me, The Horse Is Not Mine (2008) is like a dance on the ruins of a utopia gone wrong. One major motivation for this work was despair over the failure of such Soviet avant-garde artists as Mayakovsky, a poet greatly admired by Kentridge, and the architect Tatlin to survive artistically in Stalin’s Russia.
The other inspiration was the absurdist short story The Nose (1835) by Gogol, in which the nose of a Petersburg officer detaches itself from the officer”s face and takes off.
Basing himself on films from EYE”s collection, journalist and Russia specialist Raymond van den Boogaard takes a close look at the ideals that inspired artist comrades in the Soviet Union, how they were nurtured and why they failed. Van den Boogaard will be showing images of the revolution seen through the eyes of a peasant, songs for Lenin, Trotsky and Stalin pulling Lenin”s coffin out of a train in a blizzard, propaganda from the year 1937, when the “Old Bolsheviks” fell victim to Stalin”s purges, and the wonderful animation Le Nez (Alexander Alexeieff, 1965)
From 25 April till 30 August Eye presented If We Ever Get to Heaven, featuring work by the celebrated South African artist William Kentridge (Johannesburg, 1955).
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