William Kentridge

“Drawing Lessons IV, V & Refuse the Hour”

William Kentridge “Drawing Lessons”, film still

William Kentridge “Drawing Lessons”, film still

  • Duration approx. 4h 30 (incl. intervals)
  • In English with German surtitles

Past Dates

The “Drawing Lessons”, which Kentridge will perform himself in a two-day marathon, are autobiographical lectures, hybrid works of art between theatre, film and drawing. They constitute the quintessence of his transdisciplinary working methods and the nucleus of his work presented in Berlin. Created as a lecture series at Harvard University in 2012, they are reflections of Kentridge’s own aesthetic practice, in which he talks about the life in the studio, his appreciation of shadows and misunderstandings, as well as colonial history and his political environment between Apartheid and the presence.

“Refuse the Hour” evolves the topics of the Drawing Lessons in the form of a multimedia stage performance with elements of dance, drama, live music, kinetic sculpture and animation films. Following a conversation with the American physicist Peter Galison about black holes and theories of time, William Kentridge, together with Galison, composer Philip Miller, choreographer Dada Masilo and video editor Catherine Meyburgh, went on to develop a performance about philosophical and political dimensions of time, featuring musicians, singers and a dancer. “Refuse the Hour” is a staged continuation of Kentridge’s documenta-installation “The Refusal of Time”, which can be viewed at Martin-Gropius-Bau at the same time.

Drawing Lesson IV “Practical Epistemology: Life in the Studio”
Drawing Lesson V “In Praise of Mistranslation”
“Refuse the Hour”

Drawing Lessons I-III on FRI 8 July at 19:00

A series of six lectures first delivered at Harvard University for the Charles Eliot Norton Lectures series in 2012
Published by Harvard University Press: Cambridge under Kentridge, W. (2014): “Six Drawing Lessons”

“Drawing Lessons IV, V”
Conception William Kentridge
Music Philip Miller
Video construction and editing Catherine Meyburgh

Performer William Kentridge
Video manipulator Janus Fouché
Lighting operator Marine Deballon

“Refuse the Hour”
With William Kentridge
Dada Masilo
Ann Masina vocalist
Joanna Dudley vocalist
Thato Motlhaolwa actor
Adam Howard musical conductor, co-orchestration, trumpet, flugelhorn
Tlale Makhene percussion
Waldo Alexander violin
Dan Selsick trombone
Vincenzo Pasquariello piano
Edward Rudolf Neuhauser tuba

Conception, libretto William Kentridge
Composition Philip Miller
Choreography Dada Masilo
Dramaturgy Peter Galison
Video design Catherine Meyburgh, William Kentridge
Scenic design Sabine Theunissen
Movement Luc de Wit
Costume design Greta Goiris
Machine design Christoff Wolmarans, Louis Olivier, Jonas Lundquist
Light Felice Ross
Sound design Gavan Eckhart
Video orchestration Kim Gunning
Music arrangement, orchestration Philip Miller, Adam Howard
Technical director Richard Pierre
Lighting operator Marine Deballon
Sound engineer Gavan Eckhart
Video manipulator Kim Gunning
Technical Support William Kentridge Studio: Chris-Waldo de Wet

Refuse the Hour. [Video trailer]

© Quaternaire

“Refuse the Hour” was originally co-commissioned by Holland Festival (Amsterdam, The Netherlands), Festival d’Avignon (Avignon, France), RomaEuropa Festival / Teatro di Roma (Rome, Italy), and Onassis Cultural Center (Athens, Greece), with additional support provided by Marian Goodman Gallery (New York, USA – Paris, France – London, UK), Lia Rumma Gallery (Naples and Milan, Italy), and The Goodman Gallery (Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa).
“Drawing Lessons” and “Refuse the Hour” are represented by Quaternaire (