William Kentridge: The Refusal of Time

Johannesburg Art Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa
09 Nov 2014 - 01 Feb 2015

William Kentridge: The Refusal of Time

William Kentridge, The Refusal of Time, 2012 , Video stills. © William Kentridge

William Kentridge is showing his work The Refusal of Time at the Johannesburg Art Gallery. The large-scale video installation was first shown at Documenta (13) in 2012 and has since been seen in Japan, Italy, Australia, the United States, Brazil, Holland and Finland. Since the piece was made in the artist’s studio in Maboneng, the work will be presented in Johannesburg for the first time.

The project was made in a series of workshops over two years. It started as a series of conversations between William Kentridge and Peter Galison, looking at different theories of time from Newtown through to Einstein and black holes; in each case finding the metaphor for the science rather than trying to illustrate it. In the end the piece deals with the transformation of time into material objects, sound, images and mechanics. It consists of five video projections, a multi-dimensional soundscape created by Philip Miller, four megaphones and a large breathing machine. It has a running cycle of 30 minutes. The soundscape for The Refusal of Time, with spoken text, has been produced on a special limited edition of vinyl records as well as on CD. These will be available from the Goodman Gallery.

The work is a collaboration with composer Philip Miller, projection designer and editor Catherine Meyburgh, choreographer and dancer Dada Masilo, Peter Galison, a scientist from the United States and machine-makers, costume designers and set designers from many parts of the world.


Johannesburg Art Gallery
King George Street, Joubert Park





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