April 20, 2016 - Centre Pompidou-Metz - Musicircus
April 20, 2016

Centre Pompidou-Metz

Vassily Kandinsky, Gelb-Rot-Blau (Yellow-Red-Blue), 1925. Oil on canvas, 128 x 201.5 cm. Donation Nina Kandinsky, 1976. Inventory number: AM 1976-856. © Centre Pompidou, MNAM-CCI, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais / Adam Rzepka.

Masterpieces from the collection of Centre Pompidou – Musée national d’art moderne
April 20, 2016–July 17, 2017

Centre Pompidou-Metz
1 Parvis des Droits de l'Homme
57020 Metz
Hours: Wednesday–Monday 10am–6pm

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On the occasion of an exhibition of the Centre Pompidou’s masterpieces embodying the synesthesia between composers and artists since the birth of abstraction, Centre Pompidou-Metz revives for the first time in France, and under the direction of Stephen Montague, the collective work by John Cage entitled Musicircus, created in 1967, and inviting musicians to play or perform in total freedom within an orchestra open to everyone.

“In a musicircus, one can make connections between different types of music generally separated. It is not about what can be heard anymore. It is no longer an aesthetic matter," said this brilliant inventor who brought to light the social emancipation process of music. “Art, instead of being one single person’s making, is a group process. Art is sociality.” As for music ensembles, the focus is on being together; and music becomes, in a dialogue with art, an essential form of “distribution of the sensible”—in Jacques Rancière’s words—as the curators of the exhibition Emma Lavigne and Anne Horvath intend to highlight.

More than ever, sound is used in the writing of a contemporary creation seeking a new language to counteract the overwhelming presence of images and offer an in-depth exploration of listening mechanisms. Sound has become sometime the exclusive medium of artists who question the limits of the material and plastic incarnation of artworks through their dematerialization and the invention of an infra-language accessible to everyone. Many contemporary sound experiments show the influence of inherited avant-garde practices, from the Bauhaus to the Black Mountain College, Futurism and Fluxus. They are the sign of a better dialogue between artists and composers, as well as of a deeper knowledge of the work of emblematic figures who revolutionized our relation to sound. While music has progressively asserted itself as not only an art of time but as an open creation expendable in space—since the immersive sound environments of Satie’s Furniture music—fine art is now exploring time and the sensitive characteristics of music in return.

The Musicircus exhibition is an echo to all of these influences and works that blur the lines between time and space, and root in the premises of abstraction to better explore the challenges of contemporary creation. The exceptional display of the entrance hall of the Juryfreie exhibition by Kandinsky, a true symphony laid in space, beautifully resonates with the immersive sound A=P=P=A=R=I=T=I=O=N mobile by Cerith Wyn Evans, as well as the simultaneous rhythms of Robert and Sonia Delaunay, with the light and color variations of Your concentric welcome by Olafur Eliasson. From Alexander Calder’s majestic mobile entitled 31 Janvier to the Fluxus orchestra made of Joseph Beuys’ and Claes Oldenburg’s silent instruments, to Arman’s lyrical rage Chopin’s Waterloo; from Duchamp’s hypnotic Rotoreliefs to the infinite variations of Einstein on the Beach, Centre Pompidou-Metz turns itself into a concert hall filled with musical harmonies, dissonances and rhythmical lightnings that redefine the framework of plastic creation.

A rich programming will accompany the exhibition, such as Pictures at an exhibition by Moussorgski, interpreted by Mikhaïl Rudy, and the tribute performance to Charlotte Moorman by Stéphane Roussel and Julie Läderach.

Emma Lavigne & Anne Horvath, Centre Pompidou-Metz


Still on view
Sublime. The Tremors of the World

Until September 5, 2016

Tadashi Kawamata. Under the Water – Metz
Until August 15, 2016

Opening hours
April 1–October 31: Monday, Wednesday–Thursday 10am-6pm, Friday–Sunday 10am–7pm
November 1–March 31: Wednesday–Monday 10am–6pm

Only 85 minutes via high-speed train from Paris and 40 minutes from Luxembourg.

Centre Pompidou-Metz
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