William Kentridge Medicine Chest 2001 | Art.co.za | Art in South Africa
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Medicine Chest 2001

Installation with video rear-projected in medicine chest (44.6 x 34.8 x 14)
35mm animated film using charcoal and coloured pencil drawings transferred to video; 5min 50sec.

Medicine Chest was the second of Kentridge's projection installations. It is a screen-specific installation - one of a series of projections that use a found screen (ecran trouve, as opposed to objet trouve). The found screen is a medicine chest.

It is a reflection on the self - both literally the self reflected in the mirror, as in the self portraits in the film, and also as in thoughts about the self.

The format of a medicine chest is similar to that of newspaper billboards around the streets of Johannesburg, which had the day's headlines on them. Headlines used in the film come from the news events tha were reported on during the weeks when this section of the film was made - both local to South Africa (SHOPPING MALL'S BLOODY MONDAY) and international (DOOMED SAILOR'S CHILLING NOTE refers to the Kursk submarine incident).

As in other works, with these projects the interest is in finding the visual evocation of the incoherent and contradictory ways we construct a sense of ourselves. The drawings of the still lifes themselves refer back to still lifes of Chardin, Morandi, and Philip Guston.


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