Music is not necessarily what you think it is.

Can we imagine a space for music that exists outside of any media and beyond the stage? A space for unrecordable music, music of undefined duration, existing even when no audience is present? A dissolution of performer and audience, of rehearsal and performance? A music existing in the world based in a space of musical action and activity, production and performance that can be entered into and exited from at will. A space wherein the ideal listening and viewing position is determined independently by each artist, performer or visitor, not determined beforehand by a seat number on a ticket. 

During this two-day get-together, these fundamental questions surrounding Kunsthalle for Music will be tackled by a roster of international practitioners from the fields of contemporary art, music, and theory, through a symposium of public discussions, auditions, and open workshops.

Program

Friday 26 May, 5-8.30pm

Location: Auditorium, Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art

Keynote by Peter Osborne (Professor of Modern European Philosophy).

Other Participants include: Victoria Ivanova (Writerand Curator), Jörn Schafaff (Art
Historian), Marie-France Rafael (Art Historian), Francois Quintin (Director, Lafayette
Anticipations), and Lisette Smits (Curator).

Saturday 27 May, 2-7.30pm

Location: 2nd Floor Exhibition Space, Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art

Open workshops

Departing from Friday’s discussion program, composers Elena Rykova, Wojtek Blecharz, Jonathan Bepler and invited performers Sandhya Daemgen and Ayumi Paul, collaborate with select open call performers across the building on the creation of new music/performance works. We invite you to watch the workshops as they unfold, contributing in discussion alongside Friday’s symposium participants.

Opening with a dense discussion series on Friday 26 May, with speakers including Peter Osborne (Professor of Modern European Philosophy), Victoria Ivanova (Writer and Curator), Jörn Schafaff (Art Historian), Marie-France Rafael (Art Historian), Francois Quintin (Director, Lafayette Anticipations), Lisette Smits (Curator), the program will be followed by the casting of the Kunsthalle for Music's future ensemble on Saturday 27 May, culminating in a series of open workshops between select performers and the symposium’s invited composers, Elena Rykova, Wojtek Blecharz, and Jonathan Bepler, and invited performers Sandhya Daemgen and Ayumi Paul. For auditions, please refer to: Open Call. The symposium will conclude with a group rehearsal and performance of Ari Benjamin Meyers’ work Anthem (2017).

The program was conceived by Ari Benjamin Meyers (Founding Director, Kunsthalle for Music) and Defne Ayas (Director, Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art) together with Armen Avanessian (Philosopher, Literary & Political Theorist). The program is coordinated by Rosa de Graaf (Assistant Curator, Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art).

Kunsthalle for Music

The Kunsthalle for Music is commissioned by Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art (Rotterdam) together with Spring Workshop (Hong Kong). An exposition, not an exhibition by Ari Benjamin Meyers unfolded the Kunsthalle’s foundational themes at Spring Workshop (11 March - 1 April, 2017), followed by the symposium Music Is Not! at Witte de With (26 - 27 May, 2017) and punctuated by an inaugural exhibition, featuring a series of new commissions also at Witte de With (opening 27 January, 2018).

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