William Kentridge: Scribe: a new print

This image was printed this year at DKW, Arts on Main. The Scribe print came from William Kentridge’s work on the project he did for the Louvre last year, Carnets d’Egypte (Egyptian Sketchbooks). For this exhibition, Kentridge made 16 short films that were shown in the Egyptian Collection wing of the Louvre. Some of the images that Kentridge made, both in films and in drawings, were of the scribe. Here the artist puts himself in the scene, adopting the position of the scribe, while he recited Percy Bysshe Shelley’s famous poem Ozymandias – an ode to Ramses II. One of the short films, titled Scribe, involves the silent interaction between two scribes, both Kentridge as the scribe. From this project, the scribe was adapted into other work – this small etching, some photogravures by master printmaker Randy Hemminghaus, as well as some charcoal drawings on multiple pages. Ancient Egypt is a theme that first appeared in Kentridge’s work in 2004, in preparation for his staging of Mozart’s comic opera, The Magic Flute.