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Casspirs Full of Love (1989)

William Kentridge1989

Ullens Center for Contemporary Art

Ullens Center for Contemporary Art

The exhibition opens with the 1989 print Casspirs Full of Love, a drypoint etching of seven disembodied heads inside a cabinet alongside the titular phrase. The Casspir is a South African armed vehicle developed during border disputes with Angola and Mozambique in the 1970s but later deployed against residents of the townships in the waning days of apartheid. The phrase is a reference to a South African radio show in which a (white) mother wished her son, then serving in the army, “Casspirs full of love.” The odd juxtaposition between love and death, between affection and violence, and between text and image, resurfaces throughout Kentridge’s work.

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