I interviewed William Kentridge once. Not in a public conversation like the ones Denis Hirson brings together in the new book Footnotes for the Panther, which records 10 interviews between 2010 and 2015. In fact, I didn’t quite do it in person. I sent a list of questions to him, and received audio files in return with his answers. One Sunday evening before dinner, Kentridge took my questions and went to his studio, read them out, and recorded his responses into his phone. I saved one slightly cheeky question for last: Why does he do his interviews like this? Why couldn’t I do the interview in person? Surely it would have been easier to chat and allow all the chances and accidents that he embraces in his artworks to come through in the interview format? He had the good grace to consider my question and give me a number of pretty good answers. First, he works during the day — the time he has available to answer questions is limited, so he tries to fit in his interviews at odd hours, s...

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