Artwork

Black Listens to Red (Piano Concerto) / Rolf Julius

1998
Rolf Julius, Black Listens to Red (Piano Concerto), 1998
Views
Identifier

IWC.1998.120

Materials

ink-jet prints, sound equipment, glass, pigment

Description
In the first room, sixty-three ink-jet prints of red and black dots have been mounted on the far wall. Interspersed through the pattern of dots are sheets with text. They read: "Black listens/ Red/ piano/concerto." In the next room, two glass sheets are positioned on the floor next to each other. Red and black powdered pigments have been poured onto the glass. These pigments move based on the vibrations created by the speakers underneath. The ink-jet prints in the adjoining room are records of the shapes made by these powdered pigments.
Artist Statement
How does a black square sound, and how does an almost round red shape sound?  I mean, what does black look like, and how does it fare with the roundness of red? 

Black concerns itself with colors, its own surface and shape and its distance from red.  Red, in turn, in its irregular transformation from oval to round, comes in contact with black and finally finds its place.
Both black and red lie hovering above the floor, with small round speakers under them to provide their permanent quiet train of sounds (with sporadically louder fragments of melody that sound after red or black). But this cannot be true, because the same sounds exist for black as for red (the black calls and the red answers: once with its own color and then again with the sound under it).
 
About the Artist
Rolf Julius was born in Germany in 1939 and studied fine art in Bremen. In the mid 1970s he began using sound alongside his visual practice. Later he moved to Berlin and became an important figure in that city’s budding sound art scene. In 1980 Julius’ pioneering work “Dike Line” was presented at the “Fϋr Augen Und Ohren” exhibition alongside work by John Cage. He has created some of the most meaningful and moving works in the grey area between music and art, between sound and silence, slowly emerging as one of the most important and influential sound artists of our time. Whether using photographs, ink drawings, audio compositions, or subtle and sometimes almost hidden outdoor installations, Rolf Julius’ works serve as catalyst, increasing our awareness of the great beauty of the world that surrounds us.
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