Edmonton, Alberta: September 2019
Sunday morning, September 1, 2019, was one of those brilliant autumn sunshine days that I remembered so well from my days living in Edmonton, Alberta, the city known as the “Gateway to the North”. We were the first to arrive at the Art Gallery of Alberta, situated on Sir Winston Churchill Square in the heart of the Arts District in downtown Edmonton.
This was not the Art Gallery of Alberta building that I recalled from my days at University of Alberta. Everything had changed, as it does when one has been away for several years. My memory was of a building that showcased the Brutalist architecture style characterized by minimalist construction of bare building materials and visible structural elements. Now, we were looking at what was described as “juxtaposed angular windows against a winding 190-metre steel ribbon that references the forms of the North Saskatchewan River and Aurora Borealis.” The architect, Randall Stout, gave a shout out to Edmonton’s unique northern environment and urban grid.
We were there to see the major solo exhibition of the work of South African artist William Kentridge, which had opened in June 2019 and would be closing in a few short days on September 15, 2019. The Sunday morning early arrival meant that we would avoid the rush of visitors, which would allow for a more relaxed and prolonged view of the exhibition.
The exhibition was extraordinary, profound, and unforgettable. Photography was permitted so please join me on my Sunday Evening Reflection, William Kentridge: Procession.
Internationally renowned for his prints, drawings, and animated films, Kentridge has received numerous awards and major recognitions around the world. Born in Johannesburg during the time of apartheid, his work explores the politics of power and resistance in expressive and poetic form.
The main feature of the exhibition will be More Sweetly Play the Dance, a multi-sensory environment in which viewers are surrounded by depictions of people projected at human scale. This procession, a seemingly endless parade of people from various walks of life, will be presented in a 100-foot-long frieze of moving image and sound.