While returning to the States from a trip abroad, had the chance to watch a PBS video of William Kentridge by “Kentridge” a South African multimedia artist best known for his animated short films. These matinees if you will are created by videotaping a drawing, then making changes via erasures and further re-drawings, then again re-filming. He continues this “process” meticulously over and over again, allowing each change to the drawing only a fraction of a second of time on the screen. Here a single drawing or “frame” will be created, altered then filmed in a repeated way until the end of a scene is reached.
However it was in this documentary he shared something of his work which struck me as profound, even on the level of an epiphany as the idea of art is to evoke emotion in the viewer of the work. To achieve this, artists paint with large emotional brushes which may yield a picture of “struggle” however each person that views the work will see the “struggle” from their own vantage point. So it was here that Kentridge shared in his video blog of sorts that his broad brush carries with it the goal to paint the “world as process rather than a fact”.
This was profound not only in hearing his words, however combining this with a silhouette of his work in the background it became clear that since life is dynamic, and every moment which passes is “change”. Therefore, in order for change to happen, there must be a “process” which drives it, as even if it appears on the surface as chaotic, there still are complex “embedded” processes at work. Whereas when most people look at life, they see it as only a snap shot, living in only that one “frame” much as one looks back at a yellowing Polaroid which is kept in shoe box under their bed.
However Kentridge shows us through his work that in reality “life” is a continually running “process” which much like the beating of our own heart never stops for respite from the day we are born. He illustrates this in a very unique way making charcoal drawings or collages of confetti scraps both of which are static objects or “facts” if you will and then photographing in a stop motion form. As it’s here one can see that “process” is what breathes life into the static world as it provides the animation which exists around us every day.
One can also visualize this is much like looking at a face of a clock, as each view will be frozen as a “frame” in one’s mind. With the hands outstretched pointing to the cardinal directions of the chronograph and locked in pose from a mere 1 second to the seeming infinity of a full minute, as they etch themselves into our minds. However unseen to our eyes are the multitude of complex gears and springs which drive the “process” of changing each “frame” in a tireless fashion. However it is here in the back of the clock that the truth is found as the front is nothing more than a facade created for only a fleeting moment.
Here the result of animation (process) in life is the creation of “change“, and “change” in turn drives our own evolution, be-it personal, spiritual, social or economic. As if one lives within the moment (frame or fact), “one” must also live within the “process” which drives the chaining of frames together much like one of Kentridge’s works…