“Towards Kentridge”

Movement, image and sound are key to the definition of Aesthetic Education at the Centre for Humanities Research, where Patricia Hayes holds the Mellon Chair in Visual History. This sector intends to mobilize and contribute to debates pertinent to the intertwining of aesthetics, knowledge and politics across a geopolitical South-North imaginary. A significant aspect involves the distinction between cinematic and photographic media. This sector will treat the phenomena of stillness, movement and sound as expressed in a variety of image-making media ranging from photography, slide-tapes, digital media, animation, experimental film, installation art, painting, archival documents and sound art. Through each medium, the ways in which stillness, movement and sound inform philosophical and aesthetic debates on perception and duration will be explored, as well as their affective and political charge. Towards this end, the sector will examine a range of global media that organize stillness and movement relationally, including pre-cinematic projection and seriality and bricolage in photography. In addition, sound’s key role in the phenomenological emotive advance of the moving image will be explored. Thus, the sector takes as a given that moving image art comprises the workings of thought itself.

This inquiry will provide the groundwork for this sector’s efforts to crystalize around its principal goal: to widely configure – beyond the hagiographic – still and moving media produced by South African artist William Kentridge. Engagement with Kentridge is also an opportunity to rethink technical histories of the image and reconsider the different lineages of moving images and their implications that harken back to the West’s “foundational” opposition between the contributions of brothers Auguste and Louis Lumière and Georges Méliès. Amongst other implications, such distinctions highlight the difference between a history of cinema rooted in photography that takes on the mantle of realist depiction, and a history based on the projection of drawings that is avowedly fictional, a problematic that has informed the sector since its inception.

Conference April 2017
Film conference April 2017. Panel discussion at symposium, University of the Western Cape. From left: Julie MacArthur, Meg Rickards Damian, Sean Samuels, Perivi Katjavivi, Simon Wood. Photo by Ri'aad Dollie










Members (University of Toronto)

Members (University of the Western Cape)