//// Ryoji Ikeda »db« ////
January 28 – April 9, 2012
Hamburger Bahnhof, Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin
Invalidenstr. 50-51, 10557 Berlin
High Resolution images: https://www.dropbox.com/gallery/2457850/1/Ikeda%20press%20images%20Pressefotos?h=40bed6
(all images: Ryoji Ikeda, db, 2012, exhibition view Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin 2012, photos: Uwe Walter
© Ryoji Ikeda, courtesy Freunde Guter Musik Berlin, Nationalgalerie im Hamburger Bahnhof)
Japanese composer and visual artist Ryoji Ikeda (born 1966, lives in Paris) has conceived an exhibition for the Hamburger Bahnhof that, for the first time, compositionally unites the two symmetrical halls on the upper level of the museum’s east and west wings. The exhibition’s title »db« (abbr. for decibel) refers to this symmetry while simultaneously indicating the complementary relationship between the two exhibition spaces. Ikeda has designed the white room and the black room as counterparts, not only physically (brightness, color), but also conceptually and perceptually. The project is a composition in which time and space are shaped through the most minimal use of sound, light and visual elements.
The eponymous work »db« (2012) is centrally placed in both halls. In one room, it consists of a black super-directional loudspeaker that projects a pure wave of sound into the white space; in the other room, a powerful searchlight projects a beam of white light into the black space. The sound in the white room is reduced to a standing sine wave, the simplest musical building block. Every movement by a visitor alters the sonic field, allowing it to be experienced individually. The beam of light in the black room is directed through a hole in a wall at one end of the space and thus becomes perceptible, unreflected, as a white circle. The beam consists of pure white light that, analogously to white noise, contains all the colors of the spectrum. Here, too, visitors’ movements alter the space; whenever they cross the beam of light, reflections illuminate the dark room.
The two other work complexes »the irreducible [nº1-10]« (2009) and »the transcendental [nº4]« (2012) also complement each other. In the white room, the ten-part pigment print series »the irreducible«, which consists of over 1 million digits is rendered in black on black stands in contrast to the ten video projections of »the transcendental« in the black room. There, a transcendental number consisting of an infinite number of digits is luminously represented, zooming by at an ultra-fast frame rate while generating sounds in real time. Both works involve the representation of infinity based on mathematical research. Here the visitor can see and/or hear a tiny fragment of this endlessness in each space, as if through a window frame in the wall.
Since the mid-1990s, Ryoji Ikeda has been among the foremost international composers and artists in the realm of cutting-edge digital technologies and their integration into visual and acoustic presentations. His works are based on spatiotemporal compositions in which the musical and visual material is reduced to a minimum: sine waves, sound pulses, pixels of light and numerical data. He investigates sound, time and space on the basis of mathematical methods and transforms them in his concerts and installations into an intense experience for the audience.
The exhibition »db« by Ryoji Ikeda is the latest project in the »Works of Music by Visual Artists« series, which Freunde Guter Musik Berlin has presented in collaboration with the Nationalgalerie Berlin since 1999 and, since 2002, with MaerzMusik, the contemporary music festival of the Berliner Festspiele. The series provides an opportunity to hear music by artists who are internationally known as visual artists, but whose musical works and compositions can seldom be heard. And yet the connection between visual arts and music – between visual and acoustic experience – is an integral component of their artistic work. Interdisciplinary crossovers and structural transformations, the generation of dissonance and counterpoint, all play a role. The series has so far presented concert performances of musical works and installations by Hanne Darboven, Yves Klein, Hermann Nitsch, Rodney Graham, Stephen Prina, Lawrence Weiner / Peter Gordon, Christian Marclay, Käthe Kruse, Carsten Nicolai, Janet Cardiff & George Bures Miller, Cory Arcangel, and Egill Sæbjörnsson & Marcia Moraes.
Press Contact Ryoji Ikeda »db«/Hamburger Bahnhof:
Achim Klapp, Tel. +49 30-2579 7016, firstname.lastname@example.org