William Kentridge: Collaboration has been vital in giving life to new exhibitionPublished on 24 September 2019
For internationally acclaimed artist, William Kentridge, collaboration has been key to giving life to his latest exhibition, “Why Should I Hesitate: Sculpture”, currently on display at the Norval Foundation in Cape Town.
Kentridge is widely celebrated for his drawings, films, theatre and opera productions, but his current exhibition is, according to him, something of a departure from his usual work. “I never thought of myself as a sculptor”, he told guests at a dinner held at the museum to honour the artist and his work. “But I had worked a lot with shadows in performance and in drawings and I was interested in the possibility of making something like a shadow - so ephemeral and without any substance - to be solid, to hang on to some of the projections and shadows used in other pieces”.
The Norval Foundation, of which Stonehage Fleming is a proud founding partner, is a world-class centre for art and cultural expression. Bordered by vineyards, it is located on the beautiful slopes of the Constantiaberg Mountain in Cape Town and embodies the collaboration of art, education and culture.
For this exhibition, collaboration has given the essential impetus to Kentridge’s creative process. “Each of the sculptures is dependent on a kind of collaboration of many people”, he said of the involvement of everyone from colleagues in his studio who built objects for him, to the composers who filled the megaphones in his sculptures with sound and finally, the curator. Indeed, it was curator, Karel Nel’s “provocation” he said, that helped to “suddenly start looking at all the work and start thinking of it as a group”.
“The breadth of the exhibition is breath-taking because it crosses so many fields,” added Nel, echoing Kentridge’s sentiments. The exhibition covers several bodies of work including props and images from his operas and animations. “Putting it together empowers so many creative individuals but often it is not a matter of co-opting them but empowering them to be creative in other directions”, he said of the exhibition, which is described as “an enormous undertaking from William and from a whole community”.
Willam Kentridge’s “Why Should I Hesitate: Sculpture” is on show now at the Norval Foundation until 23rd March 2020.