William Kentridge - KABOOM! Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston
In light of recent developments concerning the coronavirus (COVID-19), events, exhibitions and talks are subject to change.
The ICA presents the US museum premiere of KABOOM! (2018), a multimedia installation by William Kentridge. It tells the story of the nearly two million African porters used by British, French, and German colonial forces during World War I. The three-channel video is projected onto a scale model of the stage from Kentridge’s performance, The Head & the Load, which premiered at Tate London before being presented at New York’s Park Avenue Armory.
Employing his multidisciplinary approach and his recurring trope of the procession, Kentridge builds up dynamic layers of drawings, moving images, and texts projected onto sculptural paper props and found objects to embody the dramatic arc and theatrical intensity of The Head & the Load at gallery scale.
The title of The Head & the Load comes from a Ghanaian proverb—“The head and the load are the troubles of the neck"—and the porters in KABOOM! shoulder the physical load transported all across Africa. As the work suggests, they are the ones who ultimately bear the historical legacy of colonialism and war.