This book is more than just a simple record of The Nose. The opera serves as a springboard into a bracing conversation about how Kentridge’s methods serve his unique mode of expression as a narrative and political artist.
In 2010, and again in 2013, William Kentridge staged Dmitri shostakovich’s The Nose at the Metropolitan Opera. In this book, Jane Taylor, Kentridge’s friend and frequent collaborator, invites us to take an extraordinary behind-the-scenes look at his work for the show. The opera serves as a springboard into a bracing conversation about how Kentridge’s methods serve his unique mode of expression as a narrative and political artist. Taylor draws on his etchings, sculptures, and drawings to render visible the communication that occurs between his mind and hand as he thinks through the activity of making.
Kentridge has long been admired for his unconventional use of conventional media to produce art that is stunning, evocative, and narratively powerful – how he works is as important as what he creates. This book is more than just a simple record of The Nose. Beautifully illustrated in full colour, William Kentridge – Being Led by the Nose offers striking insights into the work processes of one of the most innovative artists of our present moment.
Jane Taylor is the Andrew W Mellon Chair of Aesthetic Theory and Material Performance at the University of the Western Cape in Cape Town, South Africa. Her books include The Transplant Men, Of Wild Dogs and Ubu and the Truth Commission.
“This is an extraordinarily intrepid and lucid book. The fit between Taylor and Kentridge is so invigorating it may as well be unprecedented. Rarely has a major living artist found so engaged and lively a commentator” – Garrett Stewart, author of Closed Circuits: Screening Narrative Surveillance