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Innere Stimme

Olaf Nicolai

Solo exhibition

14 November – 12 December 2010
Vleeshal (Map)

Curator: Lorenzo Benedetti

Olaf Nicolai, 2010
Leo van Kampen photography | Innere Stimme | Olaf Nicolai

At Vleeshal, German artist Olaf Nicolai will present his new project (Innere Stimme), which is specifically related to the exhibition space and based on Robert Schumann’s Humoreske Opus 20 for piano. Composed in 1839, the exponent of Romanticism added a staff between the treble and bass staves in one part of the piece, which he named Innere Stimme (“Inner Voice”). Since this composition is written for unaccompanied piano, this middle staff cannot be sung, but the melody will influence the interpretation of the piece. The audience of the music, unable to see the score, can only imagine the influence of the Innere Stimme. Using this extreme work of the romantic composer, Olaf Nicolai will address the conceptual level of the music with a continuous performance of the hidden notes in the exhibition space. With the show, the mental dimension of Schumann’s music is transposed and unveiled in the gothic hall of De Vleeshal.

Olaf Nicolai has designed a poster of the Innere Stimme element of the score as part of the exhibition, which is free in distribution. Also in occasion of the exhibition is the presentation of a publication with an accompanying text by Jean-Luc Nancy, produced by Roma Publications.

A first version of this project was organized in October 2010 as a 30-hour performance for SOUNDFAIR in Berlin at Galerie Veneclasen/ Werner. At De Vleeshal, Innere Stimme will be exhibited for the first time in an institutional context.

Nicolai’s conceptual approach, which he translates into strong aesthetic forms with the use of diverse media, questions the way in which we view our everyday environment. His sources often analyze historical, social or scientific conditions, which he elaborates in aesthetic situations that create new perspectives and significance.