Even as he first made his name with his charcoal drawings in the 1970s and 1980s, William Kentridge resented the limitations of his craft. To the young artist he was then, working on his own in a studio in South Africa felt stifling. So he branched out, turning his drawings into filmed animations that brought them to life, then into performances with music and movement, and eventually into complex multimedia installations. He produced operas for the Salzburg Festival and the Metropolitan Opera in New York.
What he loved most was collaborating—with film-makers, theatre companies, musicians. In 2016 he took over the building next to his big industrial studio in downtown Johannesburg and created an incubator for performers called the Centre for the Less Good Idea. The name came from a Tswana proverb about the value of working things out together—and how the first, fizziest brainwave may in the end prove less productive than a humbler idea...[+]