Bowdoin College Museum of Art

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William Kentridge


Tango for Page Turning

Creation Date



early 21st century

Object Type

film/mixed media

Creation Place

South Africa, South African

Medium and Support

Single channel HD video; 2 minutes, 48 seconds

Credit Line

Museum Purchase, Lloyd O. and Marjorie Strong Coulter Fund in partnership with the New Media Arts Consortium, a collaboration of the art museums at Bowdoin College, Brandeis University, Colby College, Middlebury College, Mount Holyoke College, and Skidmore College


This artwork may be under copyright. For further information, please consult the Museum’s Copyright Terms and Conditions.

Accession Number

At its opening, this animation, drawn on the pages of the “Dictionary of Applied Chemistry,” announces its intention to explore “particular collisions,” a phrase with implications for scientific, artistic, political, cultural, and even romantic discourses. Accordingly, a panoply of words and images unfolds across the page, featuring the interaction of figures based upon the artist and the dancer/choreographer Dada Masilo. Created in conjunction with the opera “Refuse the Hour” (Brooklyn Academy of Music, 2012--13), the work reflects ongoing discussions between Kentridge and historian of science Peter Galison concerning the nature of time, the cosmos, and matter itself. Kentridge’s “Tango for Page Turning” recasts the nature of drawing by employing the historic techniques of collage and appropriation in a time-based format. No longer the autograph record of a single creator, here drawing animation is collaboratively produced and features fluid interactions between multiple aesthetic, intellectual, and individual discourses.