William Kentridge Projects


Drawings for Projection

1989 – 2020

Everything can be saved. Everything is provisional. A prior action is rescued by that which follows. A drawing abandoned is revived by the next drawing...

Oh To Believe in Another World


Explore the creation of the Kentridge film Oh To Believe in another world, made to accompany the performance of Shostakovich Symphony No. 10...
William Kentridge Waiting-for-the-Sibyl-Lead-image

Waiting for the Sibyl


The project at Rome Opera, Waiting for the Sibyl, comes from an invitation from the opera house to make a companion piece to the 1968 piece by the American artist Alexander Calder, called Work in Progress. The 1968 piece is a beautiful, whimsical almost-happening of the era...
The head and the load Lead image

The Head & the Load


The Head & the Load is about Africa and Africans in the First World War, that is to say about the contradictions and paradoxes of colonialism that were heated and compressed by the circumstances of the war. It is about historical incomprehension (and inaudibility and invisibility)...
William Kentridge Wozzeck-lead-image



I think I am interested in awkward operas. Operas in which there are unsolved riddles. Operas in which there is a space, both musically and thematically for a world to evolve and be imagined around the story. There has to be a challenge somewhere in it. It has to be a machine for thinking...

Triumphs and Laments


This project, a frieze on the walls of the Lungotevere between Ponte Sisto and Ponte Mazzini, a distance of some 500 metres, was many years in the making. It was promoted, pushed and brought to fruition by Kristin Jones...

More Sweetly Play the Dance


The procession is a form I have used many times before, trying to encompass in the work the muchness of the people in the world. And to record the fact that here in the twenty-first century human foot power is still the primary means of locomotion and we are still locked in the manual labour of individual bodies as a way of making the world...

Notes Towards a Model Opera


The eponymous 3 channel film installation sits at the core of this body of work, rooted in the aesthetics of the Chinese Cultural Revolution...
William Kentridge Lulu



Lulu is one of the great operas of the 20th Century, written by Alban Berg in the late 1920’s and early 1930’s and left incomplete, in the orchestration, at his death. It is an opera about the fragility, the impossibility, the fragmentation of desire...
William Kentridge The-Refusal-of-time-Lead-image

The Refusal of Time & Refuse the Hour


When mass is huge, gravity grows until it is irresistible. A black hole traps all that passes, allowing out of its gravitational field no object, no light, no trace of light, that has been attracted to it...

The Nose


A man wakes up to find that he has lost his nose. In 1837, Gogol writes a short story about the man’s attempts to find the missing proboscis and to reattach it to his face. Gogol considers the story that he has just recounted, concluding that it is a strange and improbable tale...
Black Box/Chambre Noire

Black Box / Chambre Noire


"Black Box/Chambre Noire" is an installation made up of a mechanised model theatre, drawings, kinetic sculptures and animated film projections...
William Kentridge The Magic Flute

The Magic Flute


The preliminary work on the drawings and animations for Zauberflöte were done in my studio in Johannesburg and tested on a model of the stage with wooden cut out figures. A good way of working with the video. One of the main unanswered questions was how to find a good relationship between the live singers and the projected drawings. So that the projections are not just backdrops, that they do not make the singers invisible, and that the live performer and the projection are not at odds. Not possible on the model but to be resolved on stage, in rehearsal...
William Kentridge 7 Fragments for Georges Melies

Fragments for Georges Méliès


Kentridge's 9 channel film installation, made using a combination of animated charcoal drawings, stop motion animation and live action film...
William Kentridge Ubu-lead-image


1996 – 1997

In South Africa at the moment there is a battle between the paper shredders and the photostat machines. For each police general who is shredding documents of his past, there are officers under him who are photocopying them to keep as insurance against future prosecutions...