Over the last twenty years, William Kentridge has built a worldwide reputation as a contemporary artist, best known for his series of ten animated films created from charcoal drawings. The films introduced a significant character in contemporary fiction: Soho Eckstein, a Highveld mining magnate and Kentridge’s alter ego. Set in his hometown of Johannesburg, the films use South Africa’s political transformation from apartheid to democracy as a backdrop to the story while tracing a different and parallel arc—Soho’s gradual awakening from capitalist blockhead and cuckold to sober penitent, coming to terms with his own frailties and the first signs of his mortality.
In The Soho Chronicles, Kentridge’s brother, Matthew, who has witnessed the evolution of William’s technique, themes, and ideas, shares a never before seen perspective on both William and Soho that sheds new light on the creator and his alter ego. Richly illustrated and offering a special feature that connects with smartphones and tablets, The Soho Chronicles is a valuable contribution to the study of William Kentridge’s body of work.