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Big Orchestra
Big Orchestra

Big Orchestra

Cat. Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfort


64 Pages, 10 x 10

Formats: Trade Paper

Trade Paper, $34.95 (US $34.95) (CA $46.95)

Publication Date: March 2020

ISBN 9783864422850

Rights: US & CA

Snoeck Publishing Company (Mar 2020)

Price: $34.95


Musical instruments in form of sculptures represent a still relatively unknown, recent development in contemporary art. The ­publication accompanying this international group ex­hibition presents artworks that, at the same time, function as musical instruments. The performance on the sculptural instruments forms the center of this constantly changing exhi­bition. During the course of the show, Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt will temporarily turn into a concert hall, where the works are activated and brought to tonal life. Visitors to the exhibition will be able to experience the sound of the artworks in a live setting. Ever newly ­formed ensembles examine the sound of the instruments, which are subsequently presented in concerts, or the ­artists activate their own works in performances. ­Starting point for the concept is an extended notion of art and music as seen during the Fluxus movement of the 1960s: happenings and ­actions were understood as »concerts«, since they ­appeared structured like compositions, and combined different media and materials. Artists: Doug Aitken, Nevin Aladag , Allora & Calzadilla, Carlos Amorales, Tarek Atoui, Cevdet Erek, Guillermo Galindo, Constantin Luser, Christian ­Marclay, Caroline Mesquita, Rie Nakajima, Carsten Nicolai, Pedro Reyes, Naama Tsabar, Hans van Koolwijk, David Zink Yi Exhibition: Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfort, 19/6 – 8/9/2019.


The way contemporary composers address the question of what an instrument actually is can be seen as an important contribution to the understanding of our current, digitally influenced culture and its options for action. It shows that traditional musical instruments and instrumental playing are by no means obsolete, even in a technically upgraded music culture. Mixtures of media—and they do, by and large, include references to older media situations—are the norm in any media culture. Today's careless use of the term digital revolution tends to cloud the view of our contemporary media reality as articulated in the arts: the coexistence of new and old—of analogue and digital—seems to be overlooked. The Medienvergessenheit, or »data deluge,« of our present times is quite unfortunate insofar as the technical concept of progress, propagated as a natural process, suggests that the way media culture is structured and devised be subject to the progress of technical developments, and that it could not possibly be taken over by humans themselves. Yet that is exactly what is possible, and it actually presents one of the most important challenges of the twenty-first century.

Author Biography

Irene Noy is the author of Emergency Noises: Sound Art and Gender (Oxford: Peter Lang, 2017). It proposes a gendered reading of the unity between the visual and the aural in works from the 1960s to the '80s. Her other publications deal with sensory perception in works created in Britain and Germany. Noy holds a PhD from The Courtauld Institute of Art where she also completed the Sackler Research Forum Postdoctoral Fellowship. Her M.A. was completed at the University of Bonn, where she studied Art History, English and North American Literature. Noy was also a visiting student at the History of Art department at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. At the Courtauld, Noy ran a network and a research project entitled 'What Sense is there in Art? The Politics of (Multisensory) Experiences'. In this capacity she organised talks, workshops and visits to exhibitions across London that deal with various aspects of art and senses and experimental curating Since 2012 Marion Saxer is professor at the Musikhochschule Lübeck for Musicology. Her main topic in the last decade was Art Music, therfore she was engaged with Frankfurter Gesellschaft Neue Musik, as ahe also is in the team of magazin Positionen. Matthias Ulrich is an art historian and curator at the Schirn Kunsthalle in Frankfurt. His approach is inspired by a sociologist study earlier made at the Goethe University in Frankfurt. Amongst others he curated at the Schirn the solo shows of Tobias Rehberger, Ulay, or Jeff Koons. With Snoeck he edited the catalogues for Tobias Rehberger and the show SECRET SOCIETIES as well as All-Inclusive. A Tourist World.