New Video Installation Highlights
Cantor Arts Center’s Expanded Gallery for African Art

Yinka Shonibare's "Odile and Odette"

Through January 9, 2011

 

Willaim Kentridge's "Felix in Exile"

January 19 – June 26, 2011


Stanford, California —Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University announces the final works in “Longing for Sea-Change,” a series of video installations by contemporary artists living and working in Africa and its diasporas. “Odile and Odette” made by Yinka Shonibare MBE, is on view through January 9, 2011. William Kentridge's “Felix in Exile” follows from January 19 through June 26, 2011.

In “Odile and Odette” (14 minutes, 28 seconds), two ballerinas, identically dressed in colorful batik-printed tutus, face each other; their synchronized movements within a gilded frame create the illusion of a mirrored figure. This clever twist on Tchaikovsky’s ballet Swan Lake, by British-born Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare MBE, questions stereotypical “African” and “Western” identities in today’s transnational world.

William Kentridge's “Felix in Exile” is an animated nine-minute video based on 40 consecutively ordered charcoal drawings that he drew, re-worked, and captured in 35mm photographs. Kentridge created this work in the early 1990s, amidst ongoing public debates that accompanied the first open elections in South Africa. The video tells the story of a man living in exile in Paris witnessing the ordeals faced by his alter-ego, Nandi, a woman working as a land surveyor in the new, democratic South Africa. This film speaks to the longing for one’s homeland and bears witness to contemporary incidents in South Africa. “Felix in Exile,” presented as a large-scale projection at the Cantor Arts Center January 19 – June 26, 2011, can be previewed on YouTube.

The video installation is on continuous view in the Center’s expanded gallery for African art. The series began in 2009 with “Spirit of ’76” (6 minutes, 24 seconds), made in 2007 by South African artist Berni Searle. Then Searle’s “Seeking Refuge” (5 minutes 56 seconds, 2008) was on view for the following six months. “Longing for Sea-Change” is made possible by the Phyllis C. Wattis Program Fund.

In addition to the main gallery for African art and the video space, small-scale devotional arts from the 25th–30th dynasties of ancient Egypt are on view in the Yansouni Family Gallery of Egyptian Art, now located in the alcove at the entrance to the gallery for African art. The display includes a small bronze of the beneficial mother-goddess Isis (7th–4th century BCE) and a painted limestone depiction of the sun and sky god Ra-Horakhty (c. 700 BCE). In fall 2011, an innovative reinstallation of the three spaces will present the arts of Africa with a broad range of media and wide geographic representation, covering several millennia to the present.

# # #

VISITOR INFORMATION:
Cantor Arts Center is open Wednesday – Sunday, 11 am – 5 pm, Thursday until 8 pm. Admission is free. The Center is located on the Stanford campus, off Palm Drive at Museum Way. Parking is free after 4 pm and all day on weekends. Information: 650-723-4177, museum.stanford.edu.

PUBLICITY IMAGES: High-resolution images are available for publicity use. Call 650-724-3600 or email mmwhite@stanford.edu



Odile and Odette
June 16 – January 9, 2011



Two ballerinas, identically dressed in colorful batik-printed tutus, face each other, and their synchronized movements within a gilded frame create the illusion of a mirrored figure. In this clever twist on Tchaikovsky’s ballet Swan Lake, British-born Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare MBE questions stereotypical “African” and “Western” identities in today’s transnational world.

William Kentridge
"Felix in Exile" (detail), 1994
Animated film on laser disc, color, sound. 9 minutes
Lent by William Kentridge Studio