The Celebration of John Cage’s 100th Birthday – A House Full of Music Strategies in Music and Art at Mathildenhöhe Darmstadt

A House Full of Music
Strategies in Music and Art

May 13th to September 9th, 2012
Mathildenhöhe Darmstadt

Following the nationally as well as internationally acclaimed interdisciplinary exhibitions Russia 1900. Art and Culture in the Realm of the Last Tsar in 2008/2009 and The Total Art Work in Expressionism. Art, Film, Theatre, Dance, Literature and Architecture 1905–1925 in 2010/2011, the Institute Mathildenhöhe
Darmstadt undertakes in 2012 a next ambitious project with A House Full of Music. Strategies in Music and Art. The exhibition will be realized in collaboration with the International Institute of Music, the brain of the legendary Darmstadt Summer Course of New Music, since the end of World War II a continuous meeting point for composers and performers as famous as Pierre Boulez, John Cage, Luigi Nono or Karlheinz Stockhausen.

A House Full of Music aims to approach the intimate relationship between music and art in a different way than most of the exhibitions in the last 20 years, which have discussed mainly synaesthetic questions like “How does a picture sound?” or “Which colour does the sound have?” The exhibition will present the contrary
parallel strategies in music and visual art, as there are for instance: to record, to destroy, to repeat, to remain silent, to calculate, to collage, to believe or to dice. These are only some of strategies which will link music and the visual arts of the 20th and 21st century in the exhibition.

With thematic islands for each strategy, with sound and video installations, paintings, drawings, objects and performance documentations the project will offer in best case a completely new discovery of music in art and music as art as well as demonstrate the close relationship between these two different artistic genres from the beginning of the 20th century until today.

On September, 5th 2012 John Cage, one of the most important composers and musical thinkers of the 20th century, would have celebrated his 100th birthday. He has pushed music beyond common borders and has related music permanently with art and life. Together with Erik Satie, Marcel Duchamp, Joseph Beuys and Nam June Paik, and highly inspired by them, Cage is one of the central figures of the exhibition, which bears the name of one of his famous performances: A House Full of Music.

Dr. Ralf Beil, Institute Mathildenhöhe Darmstadt
Stefan Fricke, Hessischer Rundfunk Frankfurt/Main
Peter Kraut, University of the Arts Bern
Dr. Thomas Schäfer, International Institute of Music Darmstadt

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