Friday, March 12, 2010

Know The Nose

William Kentridge must be under a witch's spell, more likely he's a warlock himself.

In over 15 years of attending, I've never heard the well-heeled crowd at The Metropolitan Opera gasp with delight as they did at his production of Shostakovich's "The Nose".

He showed them a magic they had never seen before -from the overture's projection moving from abstract to representational through the innovative use of stage space until the final bows.

Kentridge is unquestionably the most exciting artist working in animation today. In this production, he applies simple filmic vision to the opera by creating set spaces within the vast Metropolitan stage -essentially dividing the space and directing the eye and creating de facto close ups. This is further pushed by the incorporation of projections which bring the device of scale to a medium traditionally confined to one point of view.

He's giving a talk at the New York Public Library tonight. Will report on that tomorrow.

1 comment:

George Griffin said...

Richard, I too thought "The Nose" was absolutely amazing, even from my cheap seat with binoculars, even though some of the titles were cut off. But, though I'm a Shostakovich fan, his libretto was tiresome at times, while the purely musical sections let Kentridge strut his stuff. The last room at his MoMA show compressed much of "The Nose" into a brilliant 8 screen installation.