An exploration of phrases and excerpts that inspire a major contemporary artist.
Over the past several years, renowned South African artist William Kentridge has made a collection of particular phrases and sentences that have called out to him from the pages of whatever he has been reading. And these phrases, which he has written into a studio notebook titled Words
, have been put to work in many of his artistic projects. Kentridge has often begun a project by paging through the notebook, waiting for a phrase to claim its place in the new work. The text excerpts come from many sources: Aimé Césaire, Yehuda Amichai, Sigmund Freud, James Joyce, Setswana proverbs, the Book of Ecclesiastes, Tristan Tzara’s Dada Manifesto
, and a range of eastern European poets. This volume presents a selection made from the notebook, with phrases arranged neither randomly nor with a clear agenda but finding a space in between. Cleverly designed by the artist and beautifully produced, Words
is a thought-provoking collection that provides a window to the mind of a contemporary creative genius.