In September 2007 William Kentridge's production of The Magic Flute will finally premiere in South Africa after an extensive international tour. The production opened at La Monnaie in Brussels in 2005, went on to venues in France, Italy and Israel, and premiered in New York in April 2007.
The performances in South Africa will be the culmination of a remarkable artistic journey that has included the creation of the opera, an outpouring of drawings and prints on themes related to the production, and the completion of a seminal project, commissioned by Deutsche Guggenheim, called Black Box/Chambre Noire, that was unveiled in Berlin in 2006 before moving to the Johannesburg Art Gallery. To record this creative process, David Krut Publishing and William Kentridge have collaborated to create William Kentridge Flute.
Kentridge joins the ranks of a select group of artists, including Oskar Kokoschka and David Hockney, who have interpreted the powerful themes of The Magic Flute. In preparation for this major commission, Kentridge produced drawings and prints that explore Egyptian myths, baroque theatre machinery and Masonic themes in search of his own operatic vocabulary. The central metaphor of darkness and light, exemplified in the struggle between Sarastro and the Queen of the Night, finds expression in the motif of the camera, an image that resurfaces as the menacing "eye" of colonialism in Black Box/Chambre Noire. In this production, Kentridge studies the underbelly of Enlightenment ideals through a searing treatment of the German colonisation of South West Africa (now Namibia) that resulted in the massacre of the Herero people.
William Kentridge Flute includes commentary by Kentridge, interview with the artist, essays by Bronwyn Law-Viljoen, Stephane Roussel and Kate McCrickard, gorgeous full-colour photographs of the productions, pages from Kentridge's preparatory notebooks, and images of the many prints and drawings executed in the last several years while Kentridge was working on these two theatrical productions. The book will be launched to coincide with the South African premieres of The Magic Flute in Cape Town on 8 September and Johannesburg on 29 September.
Edited by Bronwyn Law-Viljoen
9 x 8.2 in
Hardcover (also available in softcover)