World Festival of Animated Film /
3 to 8 June 2024
World Festival of Animated Film / 3 to 8 June 2024
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Animafest's Kentridge Project Receives Annual Award of the Croatian Society of Art Historians

Annual award of the Croatian Society of Art Historians for the promotion of interdisciplinarity and visual culture in 2023 will be bestowed upon The World Festival of Animated Film – Animafest Zagreb on Friday, June 21, at 12 am in the Library of HAZU for the Kentridge Project performed during Festival’s 33rd edition.

International collaboration, networking and supernational creativity marked this year’s award for the promotion of interdisciplinarity and visual culture, presented to the Kentridge Project at Animafest 2023. A high level of professional engagement in the presentation of manifold art forms, marking William Kentridge’s creativity and his connection with Croatian art forces firmly placed the award-winning project side to side with similar events on the international scene – says the explanation written by the Award’s Committee whose members were Jasminka Najcer Sabljak, Dalibor Prančević, Daniel Premerl, Marija Tonković and Tanja Trška.

The annual award of the umbrella association of Croatian art historians is traditionally an opportunity for a ‘survey of the state’ of Croatia’s art history, which still proves to be an active participant in contemporary society, despite different challenges it continuously meets, like any other profession.

The World Festival of Animated Film – Animafest Zagreb, established in 1972, is one of the leading global events familiarising local audiences with animation, ongoingly raising the level of their audiovisual culture. In 2023, Animafest, together with its programme director Daniel Šuljić, producer, art historian and curator Paola Orlić, and programmer Andrijana Ružić, managed to conduct the Kentridge Project. This project underlines the significance and greatness of William Kentridge (Johannesburg, 1955), an artist whose universal knowledge and skill converge and intertwine visual, musical, literary and theatrical spheres, setting him as a trademark of cultural interdisciplinarity. Kentridge is an artist whose work encompasses a broad range of fields, including children’s literature, drawings, prints, tapestries, sculptures, acting, short live action films, puppet performances, theatre and opera directing, and set design. Also, his demanding transmedia projects, performances and outstanding accomplishments in the field of creative animation additionally underline his importance. William Kentridge’s works are today part of the collections and permanent exhibitions of the most important world museums and galleries, while his theatre sets are present in prestigious opera and drama theatres.

The Kentridge Project was articulated in several individual units portraying different aspects of the artist’s activity and importance. Circulus Vitiosus – the exhibition of Kentridge’s work in visual arts, by author and curator Paola Orlić, at the Kranjčar Gallery represented a highly professional approach to exhibition preparation and work based on international connection between many stakeholders, at the same time focusing and directing the attention of the international public to Croatia and Zagreb. Furthermore, programmer Andrijana Ružić curated Kentridge’s film retrospective under the title Film as Space of Uncertainty and Doubt at the Student Centre Cinema, demonstrating the diversity of the artist’s work in cinema.

Finally, Animafest managed to organise a masterclass by William Kentridge at the Student Centre Cinema under the title My Creativity in Different Fields of Art, where the artist presented a personal vision of his own interdisciplinary creative vein. At the same event, Ursonate, a hybrid musical-stage piece based on the idea of the namesake Dadaist sound poem by German artist Kurt Schwitters was performed, with the participation of William Kentridge, musicians Maja Rivić, Igor Pavlica, Stanislav Kovačević, Daniel Šuljić, and video mapping by artist Žana Marović.

The Kentridge Project not only underlined the importance of interdisciplinarity in art and production-related sense, but also promoted visual culture through a synergy of different artistic practices, giving space to deeper understanding and appreciation of the diversity of artistic creativity.