Her mesmerizing works envelop viewers in sensual, vibrantly colored kaleidoscopic projections that fuse the natural world with the technological sublime. Referring to her art as a “glorification of the wonder of evolution,” Rist maintains a deep sense of curiosity that pervades her explorations of physical and psychological experiences. Her works bring viewers into unexpected, all-consuming encounters with the textures, forms, and functions of the living universe around us.
#4– Ever is Over All
Video: Interview with William Kentridge “Art Must Defend the Uncertain” 6 min
Video: “Felix in Exile video- 8 min
#6Felix in Exile is Kentridge’s fifth film. It was made from forty drawings and is accompanied by music by Phillip Miller and MotsumiMakhene. It introduces a new character to the series: Nandi, an African woman, who appears at the beginning of the film making drawings of the landscape.
– She observes the land with surveyor’s instruments, watching African bodies, with bleeding wounds, which melt into the landscape. She is recording the evidence of violence and massacre that is part of South Africa’s recent history.
#7Felix Teitelbaum, who features in Kentridge’s first and fourth films as the humane and loving alter-ego to the ruthless capitalist white South African psyche, appears here semi-naked and alone in a foreign hotel room, brooding over Nandi’s drawings of the damaged African landscape, which cover his suitcase and walls.
#8Felix looks at himself in the mirror while shaving and Nandi appears to him. They are connected to one another, through the mirror, by a double-ended telescope and embrace, but Nandi is later shot and absorbed back into the ground like the bodies she was observing earlier.
#9-11A flood of blue water in the hotel room, brought about by the process of painful remembering, symbolises tears of grief and loss and the Biblical flood which promises new life. Kentridge has commented: ‘Felix in Exile was made at the time just before the first general election in South Africa, and questioned the way in which the people who had died on the journey to this new dispensation would be remembered’ (William Kentridge 1998, p.90). In this film Nandi’s drawing could be read as an attempt to construct a new national identity through the preservation, rather than erasure, of brutal and racist colonial memory.
Slide #12/13 -Viola’s The Greeting, a 1995 video work, explicitly recreates the architectural setting and three of the figures of Jacopo Pontormo’s Visitation. Viola’s long sequence of shifting poses and facial expressions reveals how carefully Pontormo has chosen the moment to capture for each of his models; rather than a single snapshot, the painter, too, has recorded a sequence of actions and emotions.
#14Bill Viola’s Ascension (2000) references the work of the Baroque painter Caravaggio. Although separated by hundreds of years, Caravaggio and Viola share the use of strong lighting effects to dramatically express spiritual subject matter. In Ascension, viewed from underwater, a figure violently crashes into a still body of water and hovers in cruciform. Lit by horizontal beams of blue light, the lifeless form slowly rises to the surface before sinking out of view.
#15-17The Rafttells the story of a group of people comprised of both men and women drawn from diverse economic and ethnic backgrounds. At first, they appear calm as they wait in line but this state of affairs is quickly shifted by a sudden flow of water. Since no one saw it coming, no one is prepared for it – some are knocked over by the force of the water while some try as hard as they can to support their weight and survive. There is water everywhere and the once nice clothes that distinguished the affluent from the poor are no longer attractive. With pummeled bodies and clothes, the cold starts to creep in and the group is hard hit by nature. The faces can tell of the anguish and desperation to survive as the limbs try to grasp at anything that could offer a lifeline.
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