After completing his degree in African Policies and Studies at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, William Kentridge (Johannesburg, 1955) moved for a year to Paris to study theater and mime. On his return to South Africa, in 1982, he continued his work in theater and in the film industry, but it was the plastic arts that in the early nineties gave him international recognition after his participation in the first Johannesburg Biennial (1995 ). From that moment, the artist has always developed his scenic and plastic work in a parallel and simultaneous way: both languages are fed back, complementing, and even overlapping, to the point that one does not understand without the other.
The show “William Kentridge: Basta y Sobra” focuses on his stage production, which includes theater, opera and performance, and also approaches his visual projects from this perspective. The backbone of the exhibition is the plays Woyzeck on the Highveld [Woyzeck in the High Veld, 1992], Faustus in Africa! [Faust in Africa !, 1995] and Ubu and the Truth Commission [Ubu and the Commission for Truth, 1997], and the operas Il ritorno d’Ulisse [The return of Ulysses, 1998], The Nose [The nose, 2010], Lulu [Lulú, 2015] and Wozzeck (2017). This selection allows a transversal journey that shows certain constants of the artistic career of Kentridge. All of them are stories of a single protagonist that serve to weave different situations and elicit more complex realities. These are dramas where, often, the absurd becomes an ally to effectively untangle and disentangle concrete circumstances and contexts. The characters of Woyzeck, Ubú, Lulú, Ulises, Faust, and even the Nose, are victims or executioners of corseted structures that reveal, in the public and domestic sphere, the scourges of tyranny, authoritarianism, pettiness and the corruption.