Episodes 2001–2003

Presented in various venues across South Africa including Grahamstown, Port Elizabeth, Durban, Pietermaritzburg, Johannesburg and Cape Town.
Curated by Adrian Kohler
Coordinated by the Goodman Gallery

An installation of puppets from seven productions created over sixteen years, Episodes represented a retrospective of Handspring’s work at the time. The exhibition included 50 puppets from early works such as Episodes of an Easter Rising through to Faustus in Africa, Ubu and the Truth Commission and Il Riturno D’Ulisse.
William Kentridge on Episodes: “The puppets as objects work not simply as a more or less naturalistic mimesis of the world but as objects that bring with them lessons on the limits and in strength of our rational selves. They prove us unable to control our more powerful and primitive urges to to construct sense.

Out of performance- on exhibition of as objects – they still operate in the same way. They are so palpably applied that they lead us back to their life and use beyond the exhibition.

The Fact that the puppets are not made for themselves but another – for the stage production – is the what gives them their strength as sculptural objects. There are formal innovation, leaps of imagination prompted, prodded and given by the by the context in which the sculptures are made that they would never emerge if left simply to a free floating imagination.

The puppets are in service of the production – but the productions themselves are also a cumberstone arcane way of producing the puppets as sculptures.”