World Festival of Animated Film /
5 to 10 June 2023
World Festival of Animated Film / 5 to 10 June 2023
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William Kentridge: Ursonate

07/06 WED 22:30 KINO SC

Based on the idea of a sound poem of the same name which the famous Dada (more accurately: Merz) artist Kurt Schwitters created between 1922 and 1932 and which, within the classical music form of the four-movement sonata, by intermedia meandering between sound, speech, music and noise, questioned the conventional boundaries of art, William Kentridge’s Ursonate is a peculiar hybrid music-stage piece (more precisely, an audiovisual play), which the artist is presenting at the 33rd World Festival of Animated Film – Animafest Zagreb. In the wake of Schwitters’ original idea that a poet is not only a writer, but also a composer of words, that writing poetry in fact means composing words, and the performance of his Ursonate which took an entire decade to make is primarily an audio experiment with acoustic and non-semantic qualities of language, William Kentridge upgrades his version of Ursonate with a visual experience and, playing with the imagery derived from his own artistic work (drawings, animations), with a video mapping (Žana Marović) and musical improvisation by a group of on-stage musicians (Maja Rivić, Igor Pavlica, Stanislav Kovačić i Daniel Šuljić), establishes himself on the stage as a diverse polyvalent author and performer (actor and director). With accentuated gestures and a blatant dose of self-ironic humour, Kentridge will intone syllables and interpret the ancient, Ur, words of a peculiar archaic Ur-language, accompanied by a projection of his Ur-lexicon in the background, showing a series of animated Ur-forms which contract, move and dissolve in nothingness only to finally integrate and reconstruct in a new unit. In his version of Schwitters’ Ursonate he not only pays homage to his Dada predecessor, but also points to the possibilities of adapting the long
lost totality – convinced that it is still possible to address (communicate with the world) which has lost all sense in the language of absurdity, i.e. to keep establishing an everyday sensible connection with senselessness.

William Kentridge
Stanislav Kovačić (cello)
Žana Marović (video mapping)
Igor Pavlica (vocals, trumpet)
Maja Rivić (vocals)
Daniel Šuljić (piano)