William Kentridge: The Refusal of Time at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, December 10, 2016 – April 2, 2017

Commissioned originally for dOCUMENTA 13 in Kassel, Germany and making its West Coast debut at SFMOMA, artist William Kentridge’s The Refusal of Time (2012) is an immersive installation combining synchronized video projections featuring live action, animation and dance, with audio feeds that incorporate music and sound and a central kinetic sculpture called “the elephant,” which breathes a steady rhythm from the center of the gallery. The work evokes an embodied history of time while simultaneously expanding our ideas about how we mark its passage.

“With this complex and masterful immersive installation we found the perfect match for our long-standing commitment to the artist, which includes significant holdings in the Fisher Collection,” said Rudolf Frieling, exhibition curator and curator of media arts at SFMOMA. “The Refusal of Time embodies the sum of Kentridge’s work, casting a wide net of references from old Europe to the rebellious African South. It synthesizes his strikingly beautiful and hybrid aesthetic with not only a sense of political urgency, but also infectious exuberance.”

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William Kentridge, The Refusal of Time, 2012; jointly owned by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (purchase, by exchange, through an anonymous gift and the K. Hart Smith Trust); © 2012 William Kentridge, all rights reserved; photo: courtesy Metropolitan Museum of Art

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William Kentridge, The Refusal of Time, 2012; jointly owned by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (purchase, by exchange, through an anonymous gift and the K. Hart Smith Trust); © 2012 William Kentridge, all rights reserved; photo: courtesy Metropolitan Museum of Art

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William Kentridge, The Refusal of Time, 2012; jointly owned by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (purchase, by exchange, through an anonymous gift and the K. Hart Smith Trust); © 2012 William Kentridge, all rights reserved; photo: courtesy Metropolitan Museum of Art

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William Kentridge, The Refusal of Time, 2012; jointly owned by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (purchase, by exchange, through an anonymous gift and the K. Hart Smith Trust); © 2012 William Kentridge, all rights reserved; photo: courtesy Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Refusal of Time is jointly owned by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and The Metropolitan Museum of Art.