Telegrams from the Nose; Credit: William Kentridge

The Philharmonie Luxembourg, MUDAM - The Modern Art Museum of Luxembourg and the Grand Théâtre have announced the details of their jointly organised Red Bridge Project.

Following the success of its first edition, featuring Belgian choreographer Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, the Red Bridge Project 2020/21 is turning its attention to South African artist William Kentridge. The project, organised by three of Luxembourg's major cultural institutions, aims to build bridges, both geographically and artistically, between music, dance, performance, film and visual arts.

Widely regarded as one of today's most important artists, William Kentridge has spend the last three decades creating unique works that span many different disciplines from drawing, film and sculpture to performance, theatre and opera. This year's Red Bridge Project invites the audience to discover and explore his multifaceted work in a programme ranging from a solo exhibition and a new opera production to performances by the artist himself.


12 November 2020 @ Philharmonie: Telegrams from the Nose (performance)

In the collaborative work "Telegrams from the Nose" (2008), William Kentridge created together with the French composer François Sarhan a deconstruction of soviet myths, depicting Russia in the middle of a great artistic and social revolution while at the same time at the beginning of Stalin’s fatal and totalitarian regime. In twelve "telegrams" based upon texts by poets including Daniil Kharms, himself a victim of Stalin’s crimes, Kentridge and Sarhan together with ensemble Ictus and Georges-Elie Octors create a multimedia performance of music, video and installation recalling erstwhile utopias of the arts.

12 November 2020 @ Philharmonie: Ursonate (performance)

In his performance of Kurt Schwitters’ renowned "Ursonate" from 1932, William Kentridge turns the seminal dada sound poem into a multimedia performance: with text recited by Kentridge himself and video displaying a constant flow of animated images of the artist’s drawings, joined by the tap dancer Peter Kuit as well as with music improvised by soprano Ariadne Greif, violinist Igor Semenoff and guitarist Tom Pauwels. Kentridge’s rendition of Ursonate cannot be perceived merely by ear: one must see it.

13 February – 6 June 2021 @ MUDAM: William Kentridge. Image, parole, son (exhibition) 

This new exhibition conceived for MUDAM presents new and recent works that illustrate William Kentridge’s expansive artistic practice. Central to the exhibition is William Kentridge’s continued meditation on the construction of meaning through visual composition, language and sound. Known for his acclaimed animated films that he makes from charcoal drawings using a distinctive process of erasure and recovery, Kentridge's work is resolutely narrative in its treatment of themes intimately connected to history and the phenomena of memory and forgetfulness, to the condition of the artist and to the process of making. The artist tackles these subjects through the lens of his native South Africa and his own artistic persona. The exhibition is composed of a succession of works that are physically and conceptually linked to performances and the opera that will be staged at the Philharmonie Luxembourg and the Grand Théâtre. Among the displayed works will be William Kentridge’s most recent film "City Deep" (2019), which will be shown in a staged version as prelude of "Waiting for the Sibyl" at the Grand Théâtre Luxembourg in June 2021.

In keeping with the interdisciplinarity of the Red Bridge Project, a programme of performed works and special events at Mudam will accompany the exhibition. They include the performance "Guided Tour of the Exhibition for Soprano with Handbag", which features the Australian singer Joanna Dudley, and a collaboration with South African pianist and performer Kyle Shepherd. The exhibition design is developed by William Kentridge’s long-time collaborator, Brussels-based architect and set designer Sabine Theunissen. Organised within the context of the Red Bridge Project, the exhibition has been developed and is curated by MUDAM Director, Suzanne Cotter, with coordination by Exhibitions Curator Christophe Gallois, assisted by Nelly Taravel.

28 May – 6 June 2021 @ Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg: TalentLAB goes Red Bridge Project (festival)

Launched in 2016, TalentLAB has since become an essential platform for emerging artists and creation in theatre, opera and dance and constitutes one of the pillars of the work in the areas of learning, exchanges and artist development at the Théâtres de la Ville. Since the Red Bridge Project was initiated out of the same desire to exchange, build bridges between institutions and disciplines and to honour artists, it seemed natural to associate the "Centre for the Less Good Idea", founded by William Kentridge, to the TalentLAB. The Centre aims to find the “less good idea” by creating and supporting experimental, collaborative and cross-disciplinary arts projects.

For the 2021 edition of TalentLAB, the project call will be open to artists from the Centre, creating the opportunity for one of them and their project to take part in the laboratory and to develop a scratch performance over the period of ten days in Luxembourg. They will be able to participate in a packed programme including performances, workshops, conferences and masterclasses. The complete programme will be announced in March 2021. The partners of the TalentLAB are the Théâtre du Centaure for theatre, the Trois C-L for dance and the European Network of Opera Academies, of which the Théâtres de la Ville are a member, for opera.

11-13 June 2021 @ Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg: Waiting for the Sibyl (opera)

In "Waiting for the Sibyl", William Kentridge tells a story about our desire to be more connected to the forces that shape our destiny. The work, which features nine dancers and singers and Kentridge’s signature combination of projection, live performance, recorded music and shadows cast by live performers on a hand-painted backdrop, is inspired by the myth of the Cumaean prophetess Sibyl. In the action on stage and on giant screens, objects and situations dissolve and reform and a series of sentences are written down on paper, all elements pointing towards one inescapable question: What is to come?

"The Moment Has Gone", which precedes Waiting for the Sibyl, combines the latest in William Kentridge’s series of short charcoal animation films featuring his alter ego Soho Eckstein with sequences of the artist creating the work. Presented with a live piano score by Kyle Shepherd, The Moment Has Gone was made at the same time as Waiting for the Sibyl and includes phrases and ideas that reappear in the chamber opera, as well as an appearance by Sibyl herself.