William Kentridge and Bronwyn Lace

The Center for the Less Good Idea

Location: Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, view access map
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About the event

E a re ngaka kgolo go retelelwa, go alafe ngakana / If the good doctor can’t cure you, find the less good doctor*

Based in Johannesburg, The Centre for the Less Good Idea is a space founded in 2016 by the artists William Kentridge and Bronwyn Lace to encourage and accompany the emergence of new art forms. Both an incubator for artistic projects and a place for creative encounters, it is aimed at young artists from the local and international scene, many of whom come from the African continent.

Unique in its kind, The Centre for the Less Good Idea is based on the conviction that the “less good idea”, i.e., that born on the margins by chance or due to an error, very often paves the way for the most inventive works. Through collaborative work and the intersection of disciplines, between text, music, performance, images, and dance, it offers a framework for creation, without any pre- established objectives in terms of production or formats.

Upon the invitation of the Fondation Cartier, The Centre for the Less Good Idea relocates to Paris and invests all the exhibition spaces on the Boulevard Raspail for a week of workshops and shows, performances and concerts, readings and screenings. Bringing together artists from South Africa, Benin, and France, as well as students and amateurs, together, they will all look for the “less good idea”.

Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, William Kentridge is internationally acclaimed for his drawings, films, theatre, and opera productions. Embracing collaboration and cross-pollination of various media and genres, including performance, film, literature, and more, his work frequently responds to the legacies of colonialism and apartheid, within the context of South Africa's socio- political landscape. Erasure, play, uncertainty, and a process-led methodology are also central to his practice. In early 2016, Kentridge founded The Centre for the Less Good Idea with fellow artist Bronwyn Lace, an interdisciplinary incubator space for the arts based in Maboneng.

Botswana-born visual artist Bronwyn Lace, who currently works between Austria and South Africa, has collaborated with William Kentridge on the founding and establishing of The Centre for the Less Good Idea. Her artistic practice is concerned with the relationship between art and other fields such as physics, literature, philosophy, museum practice, education, and more. Site-specificity, responsiveness, and performativity are also central to her practice. Similarly, a balance between an isolated, introspective studio process and a collaborative, communal process sees Lace embracing incidental discoveries underpinned by an informed pursuit of new ideas.

*Taken from the book Sechuana Proverbs with Literal Translations and Their European Equivalents, by Solomon Tshekisho Plaatje (October 9, 1876– June 19, 1932)

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