Nose 9

HOW LITTLE A HORSE NEEDS

Four sticks, a crossbar, a neck and a tail. I had given myself the task of trying to find or make horses with the least right to be equestrian statues. This turned into a question of how reduced a horse could be to still be a horse. Some horses were made with rough torn sheets of paper that, when placed together, approximated neck, legs, back etc. Some were made by successively discarding these sheets and reducing them to minimal lines and angles. The simplification of the horse was easy, even effortless. However many elements were removed and reduced, a horse would remain. (This should have been obvious: a stick and a newspaper-filled sock and two buttons have been a hobbyhorse. Although you do need a clicking of the tongue and a slightly sideways skipping gait to convince us of the horse in the broomstick.)

What was much harder was to reduce the dignity of the horse. I wanted horses ashamed of their horseness, but attempts to find this failed. The image of the horse disappeared if one too many elements disappeared—a back, a neck for example—but once there was enough to make out the form, the horse was shameless and fitted fine onto any pedestal.

This text by William Kentridge appears alongside the illustration of this print in William Kentridge Nose: Thirty Etchings, edited by Bronwyn Law-Viljoen and published by David Krut Publishing in 2010.

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Nose 9

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Edition Size:
50

Sheet Height:
35 cm

Sheet Width:
40 cm

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Unframed

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