EXHIBITED: London, Vanessa Devereux Gallery, Responsible Hedonism, 14 May - 20 June 1989 Street, Somerset, Atkinson Gallery, Cross Currents: Contemporary Art Practice in South Africa, 5 June - 30 September 2000
LITERATURE: J. Picton and J. Law (eds.), Cross Currents: Contemporary Art Practice in South Africa, (Somerset, 2000), illustrated p.55
This large charcoal drawing was the title work for the artist's 1989 solo exhibition 'Responsible Hedonism' at the Vanessa Devereux Gallery in London. The two figures kissing at the centre of the composition are linked both to the etching of the same name in the series Industry and Idleness (1987-1988) as well as the large-scale screenprint The Battle between Yes and No (1989).
"Through figures whose tongues twist together", Judith Hecker has suggested, the works "convey a sense of social antagonism", and suggests something of the many competing messages being circulated in the political arena of the late '80s in South Africa. The couple are situated within the very public space of a stadium, complete with microphones and loudspeakers, the iconography of mass communication.
The disembodied heads in a cabinet which feature on the right of the image are part of the artist's elaboration of the Casspirs Full of Love theme between 1988 and 1989. Both Casspirs Full of Love and Responsible Hedonism originated in work done by the artist in Italy.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: J. B. Hecker, William Kentridge, Trace: Prints from The Museum of Modern Art, (New York, 2010), p.58