The Museum der Moderne Salzburg presents a comprehensive exhibition of the celebrated South African artist William Kentridge (1955 Johannesburg, ZA), which extends to both venues of the museum. Impressive video installations can be seen on the Mönchsberg, while in the Rupertinum his work for the theater and the opera is at the center of an exhibition for the first time. In the Atrium of the Rupertinum, just opposite the Haus für Mozart, where Kentridge stages Alban Berg’s opera Wozzeck for the Salzburg Festival in the summer, a new installation by the artist will be on display that will last for a year.
William Kentridge was known in the 1990s with expressive, animated drawings in videos. His Drawings for Projection tell about the effects of European imperialism and colonialism on Africa, especially on his native South Africa. A trained actor, Kentridge has been successfully working on opera and theater productions for many years. His close relationship to the theater, for which he works as an actor, producer, stage designer and costume designer, flows into his work as a visual artist. In his multi-media productions, he combines great drawings with theatrical liveliness. A thread running through Kentridge's work is the exploration of the meaning and expression of time. His works move between epic and everyday, between exuberance and tragedy.
In the exhibition section on the level  at the Mönchsberg, eight room-filling multimedia installations will be presented. Among them are 7 Fragments for Georges Méliès (2003), a homage to the French pioneer of silent film; the in 2012 for the documenta 13 in Kassel created spectacular work The Refusal of Time, on the relationship of people to the phenomenon of time as a form of political and social rule; and O Sentimental Machine (produced in 2015 for the Istanbul Biennale) on the Turkish exile of Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky. A selection of tapestries and objects as well as a reading room with numerous publications by and about William Kentridge complete the exhibition. The auditorium features the ten-part video series Drawings for Projection (1989―2011).
The exhibition section at the Rupertinum is dedicated to Kentridge's exploration of theater and opera. On display are a wealth of exhibits, including posters, drawings, designs, models and costumes that have been produced since the late 1970s for his most important productions. Highlights include the models for the productions of Claudio Monteverdi's Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria (1998/2017, produced for the Wiener Festwochen and the Kunstenfestivaldesarts in Brussels) and Preparing the Flute (2004/2005, staged for La Monnaie, Brussels) and the original set design of his production of Dmitri Shostakovich The Nose (2010, produced by the Metropolitan Opera, New York). In the Franz West Lounge of the Rupertinum the artist has a studio at his disposal, which is temporarily open to the public. William Kentridge's final steps in his production of Alban Berg's opera Wozzeck for the Salzburg Festival, which premieres on 8 August 2017, can be traced there.
Art for friends: Edition to the exhibition
Curator: Sabine Breitwieser, Director; with Tina Teufel, Curator
Consultant Curator for the theater section: Denise Wendel-Poray, Paris
Exhibition architecture: Sabine Theunissen, Brüssel
In cooperation with Whitechapel Gallery, London, the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk, and The Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester