Galleria Lia Rumma Milan is pleased to announce Triumphs, Laments and other Processions, a solo exhibition by the South African artist William Kentridge, which will open on 9 April.
Kentridge’s artistic practice ventures into many fields, from engraving to shadow theatre, to drawings and animated films, sculpture and tapestries, through to productions for opera houses and large-format installations.
Visitors will be greeted and surrounded on the ground floor of the gallery by a video installation, More Sweetly Play the Dance, which unfolds like an accordion on eight large screens, and which premiered in 2015 at the Eye Film Institute in Amsterdam. A parade of dancers, porters and animated images wind their way through space and through history to the strains of a poignant, rhythmical music, evoking political marches and migrations, conflicts and poverty, death and civil strife.
On the upper floors, there are charcoal drawings on sheets of old book-keeping registers, preparatory pen and ink works, sculptures, tapestries and cut-outs created for what promises to be one of the most important artistic events of 2016: Triumphs & Laments: a Project for Rome, a site-specific work inspired by the age-old history of the city, which is taking shape on the stretch of embankment along the River Tiber, between the Ponte Sisto and the Ponte Mazzini. This is a monumental 550-metre-long frieze that is emerging simply by cleaning away the biological patina that has accumulated on the travertine walls. It will eventually portray a procession of 80 figures, of up to 12 metres (40 feet) in height, showing the triumphs and defeats of the Eternal City, from the death of Remus to that of Pier Paolo Pasolini, and from the bombing of the San Lorenzo district to the personalities of the Dolce Vita.
It is an epic undertaking and yet one that is transient, for it will gradually fade away with the passage of time.
The unveiling of Triumphs & Laments: a Project for Rome is scheduled for 21 and 22 April, the first day of which is highly significant as it is the date when the founding of Rome is celebrated. As in a Gesamtkunstwerk, the project will be completed by a series of musical and performance events under the direction of the South African composer Philip Miller, in collaboration with street musicians who work in Italy and with the musical team that has been following William Kentridge for many years. Live music and moving processions of large dancing shadows on the backdrop formed by the friezes will bring the two opening days to life.