Exhibitions


  • William Kentridge
    (Still from) Weighing… and Wanting, 1997-8
    35mm animated film with sound, transferred to video and laser disc, colour
    Run time: 6 minutes 20 seconds
    Courtesy of the artist and Marian Goodman Gallery, New York / Paris

  • William Kentridge
    (Still from) Weighing… and Wanting, 1997-8
    Courtesy of the artist and Marian Goodman Gallery, New York / Paris
    Photo by Gina Fuentes Walker

  • William Kentridge
    (Still from) Weighing… and Wanting, 1997-8
    Courtesy of the artist and Marian Goodman Gallery, New York / Paris
    Photo by Gina Fuentes Walker

  • William Kentridge
    (Still from) Weighing… and Wanting, 1997-8
    Courtesy of the artist and Marian Goodman Gallery, New York / Paris
    Photo by Gina Fuentes Walker


William Kentridge

Weighing… and Wanting

June 14–September 29, 2013

Like the biblical figure King Belshazzar, artist William Kentridge dreamed of words appearing on a wall, which led him to a period of re-evaluation in his life.  Embracing the vision, he created Weighing… and Wanting, a filmed series of deeply personal pastel, gouache, and charcoal drawings reinterpreting the well-known story from the fifth chapter of the Book of Daniel.
 
Babylonian King Belshazzar, while seated at a great feast, envisioned a hand inscribing on his palace wall the words Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin – numbered, weighed, divided.  Daniel, a Jewish exile who interpreted the vision, informed the terrified king that the God of the Israelites had numbered the days of Belshazzar’s reign; had weighed the king on a scale and judged him to be wanting; and his kingdom would be divided between the Persians and the Medes.  Belshazzar was killed that very night and his realm taken over. The story stresses the importance of living a life rightly before the consequences of one’s misdeeds become unalterable, before judgment is passed.

The timelessness of this biblical passage’s warning informs Kentridge’s work.  A white South African artist whose work is, nevertheless, steeped in the trauma of Apartheid, Kentridge uses recurring characters and landscapes in his oft-explored personal mythology.  In this work, his signature dreamlike images of comfort, sentimentality, and destruction form a modern approach to an age-old question.   His “In whose lap do I lie” echoes Daniel’s admonishment of Belshazzar for not honoring God “who holds in his hand your life and all your ways” (Daniel 5:23).

[Contains Nudity]

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