William Kentridge

Tide Table, 2003/04

Tide Table is a film about the vicissitudes of fortune. Just like the ebb and flow of tides, the rises and falls in share prices are observed by tycoon Soho Eckstein from his recliner. The panorama of society in South Africa, where joy and suffering are so close to each other, unfold before his very eyes. Generals in their smart uniforms safeguard their power, the affluent upper classes pass their days in luxurious hotels whilst the less fortunate see their cows grow lean and their people perish in epidemics. The film follows the proceedings from the distanced perspective of a newspaper reader and with the same resignation as the fluctuating tides. South African artist William Kentridge (b. 1955) gained recognition with his animated films, in which he takes a metaphorical stance on Apartheid and its consequences in his home country. His stories unfold on the basis of large-format charcoal and pastel drawings which he photographs with a 35 mm camera. The changes to the drawings at the individual stages of the work are not completely erased – on the contrary, traces of them remain visible.

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William Kentridge
Tide Table, 2003/04
1 channel video (b/w, sound), 8’
Courtesy Sammlung Goetz, München