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A mature man with white hair stares forward surrounded by details illustrations and sculptures.

To What End

3 November 2023

An Artist Talk by William Kentridge

In the Utzon Room

Talks and Ideas

Join William Kentridge, the creator of the Sydney Opera House presentation of Sibyl, as he takes us on a fascinating exploration of his creative process.

Hear from the world-renowned visionary artist

William Kentridge, whose work never ceases to mesmerise, describes himself as an artist who makes drawings which sometimes are made into animated films. And sometimes there are performers in front of the animation and the work becomes theatre and opera – a drawing in four dimensions, in space, and extending over time.

With Sibyl, Kentridge has somehow captured the zeitgeist, tapping into our deepest uncertainties about the future. What process allows this to happen?

In his work, the ideas traverse in multiple directions from an initial impulse – an image or a phrase – to drawing, to idea, to metaphor, to image, and back again. His Johannesburg studio becomes an embodiment of these processes of discovery and the artist works – often in collaboration with fellow South African artists, musicians, dancers, and actors – toward a penetrating and resonant vision of our world. It’s work where ambiguity and contradiction are not just “mistakes at the edge of understanding, but the way in which our understanding is constructed.”

In this lecture with stunning visuals, William Kentridge invites us on the journey of his artistic practice through the making of Sibyl, and other works.

Sydney Opera House presents


It’s always been in between the things I thought I was doing that the real work has happened.

William Kentridge

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