The Centre’s approach has also led to performance vignettes that capture the essence of what the program is about: being unafraid to fail. Lace described one young artist growing frustrated and morose when his idea—to create a filmic homage to famous sculptors, set in a ceramics studio—was not developing into an interesting work. In response, Kentridge took a clay pot and placed it over the would-be filmmaker’s head.
“It was just this playful moment,” says Lace. “The artist immediately grabbed it and started sculpting it on his head. It became a video piece that he called Make Myself Anew, about a younger artist’s angst collapsing his process and a seasoned artist like Kentridge saying, ‘You’ve forgotten to have fun.’”
It’s these moments—the unanticipated, the collaborative—that, the Centre believes, are often the seeds of fruitful ideas.
“Our work is about creating the right environment, the flexibility and spirit, and also holding the heaviness that comes with logistics and fundraising,” says Lace, “removing those pressures from artists for a while so that they can have freedom to play.”