In a collaboration with the Performance Biennial BP.17, the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes presents the video installation of William Kentridge’s Notes Towards a Model Opera and a watercolor work, In Mockery of Progress.

The world-renowned South African artist, who hosted the prestigious Norton lectures at Harvard University, is famous for his technique in animated film. He films charcoal drawings, meticulously erases a portion, and then films again so that each frame is a physical modification of the last.

Notes Towards a Model Opera is worth seeing for its dizzying, visceral array of media on display: charcoal, India ink, animated found objects, dance, and more. It’s also an intriguing story about a topic central to Argentina’s collective identity: revolution.

The installation is a twist on China’s “Eight Model Plays,” the major didactic ballets permitted during Chairman Mao’s Cultural Revolution, which told narratives about the proletariat’s struggles against the upper class in place of the traditional stories of bourgeois lives popular in Peking opera. By ironically juxtaposing these ballets in wildly out-of-context places such as Paris, Moscow, Shanghai, and Johannesburg, Kentridge considers the phenomenon of propagandist ballet within the greater history of dance.

In Mockery of Progress is a series of red watercolor words on a series of found pages with slogans such as “INDOLENCE ON A MASS SCALE” and “HOPE FOR THE EMPTY SCREEN.”

This Kentridge exhibition is thought-provoking and FREE. A definite must-see to add to your list before it ends in August.


From now until August 13, 2017

Tuesday-Friday from 11 AM to 8 PM

Saturday-Sunday from 10 AM to 8 PM


Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes

Av. del Libertador 1473

Room 39 and 40 | 1st Floor Exhibition Hall