10 Questions with William Kentridge

The South African artist on drawing, why he needs a messy desk and the future of his country

Erik Tanner for TIME

You've worked in opera, tapestry, sculpture, puppetry, animation, film and drawing. Is there a through line?
The heart of it is drawing, starting where you don't know quite what you're doing and discovering what the drawing will be, rather than knowing the script in advance and following it.

Two American museums just bought your video piece Refusal of Time. What is it about?
I was interested in the pressure we have to try to escape our destiny, which is another way to think about time. And how to materialize time--play music backward and forward, slow it down, run a...

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