Monday 11 November 2019

The Coincidence Demands Its Hearing

Courtesy of the William Kentridge exhibition at Zeitz MOCAA, Cape Town.
Quite unusually for me, my one-month sojourn in South Africa from September into October, whilst beneficial for my wellbeing and love life, it was one in which my blog was hardly a window into the experiences I had. I had taken to what might be called photo-blogging, posting groups of pictures on Instagram with some text to accompany my perspectives.
None of that covered to any detail the various insights of the historical and cultural tapestry of South Africa, this was mainly in Cape Town. For all we got to do, there is much more to do and see.
On one of our outings, we visited The Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz MOCAA) on the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, in Cape Town, this was a reconstruction that came of out of old grain silos, the height of which once registered as one of the tallest freestanding structures in Africa.
As we paid our entrance fee of ZAR 200 each, I noticed that the annual membership was ZAR 290, having learnt from visits to other museums as the Voortrekker Monument, Liliesleaf Farm and Castle of Good Hope, we have never been able to complete the tour of exhibits with the information provided in one visit.
The absence of booklets, brochures, pamphlets, or guides covering the exhibits meant that we had to consider returning if we needed to gain the full knowledge and experience of the place. Now, I do not know how many people would get the opportunity to visit South Africa as frequently as I have been able to. My visit in September was my fourth in a year.
We got to visit Liliesleaf Farm again, but there is at least one more visit to go, but back at the Zeitz MOCAA we decided on the annual membership and soon had membership cards to flaunt. We believe we would be returning to visit soon.
Our visit introduced us to the major exhibition of the work of South African artist, William Kentridge, which occupied a couple of floors, much of which we did not get to see, but will soon again, as the exhibition titled, ‘Why Should I Hesitate: Putting Drawings To Work’ runs from the 25th of August 2019 to the 23rd of March 2020.
We hope then to get a better understanding of the narratives, yet, on learning more about him, we came upon the legendary story of his father, Sir Sydney Kentridge KCMG QC who only clocked 97 on the 5th of November.
Former lawyer and judge, member of first the South African bar and then the English bars, represented 3 of the 4 Nobel Peace Prize laureates of South Africa, Chief Albert Luthuli, Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, he also represented the family of Stephen Biko at the inquest into his death, his cross-examination so thorough, it exposed the culpability of the Apartheid regime.
At least, I had to let the significance of that sink in, and then understand how the scion of a high-profile personality can forge a career in a completely different direction and still make a significant contribution to national history. By coincidence, William Kentridge has an exhibition at the Tate Modern in London, running until the 17th of November. Father and son have left footprints in South Africa and the United Kingdom.
Some inspiration I gained from the exhibition in Cape Town, will inform some future blogs.

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