jörn schafaff and
ari benjamin meyers
Ari Benjamin Meyers & Jörn Schafaff

Workshop / Performance

The Exhibition as Rehearsal
Rehearsals usually take place before art becomes public. Closely linked to the performing arts, rehearsing is a practice of developing, showing, reflecting, and trying again elements that, at the end of the process, blend into a final work – a dance performance, for example, or a musical presentation. As long as the rehearsal lasts, however, things are still open for change. What, then, if we considered the exhibition in terms of rehearsal – a medium commonly defined by its static appeal? And what if the rehearsal process itself is put on public display? How does that potentially change the notions of performance and rehearsal? How would it affect our understanding of what exhibitions do, how they are processed, who is involved and in what way? Taking the HGB gallery as a testing ground, Ari Benjamin Meyers and Jörn Schafaff will rehearse some answers to these questions together with the audience. There will be talking and showing, and some singing, too.
Ari Benjamin Meyers received his training as a conductor and composer at The Juilliard School, Yale University, and Peabody Institute. Trading the concert format for that of the exhibition, his works – such as Kunsthalle for Music (2018), Symphony 80 (with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra) and Solo for Ayumi (both 2017) – explore structures and processes that redefine the performative, social, and ephemeral nature of music as well as the relationship between performer and audience. He has collaborated with artists including Tino Sehgal, Anri Sala, and Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster and with bands such as The Residents, Einstürzende Neubauten, and Chicks on Speed. Recent solo shows include Ari Benjamin Meyers: Kunsthalle for Music at the Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara (2019), Tacet at Kunstverein Kassel (2019) and In Concert at OGR Turin (2019).
Jörn Schafaff is an art scholar who preferably works in between disciplines. With a background in cultural studies, his research and teaching currently revolve around the exhibition as an artistic medium and cultural format of presentation – with a special focus on the interrelations between visual art and other artistic and non-artistic fields of practice. His publications as author and editor include Cultures of the Curatorial (2012), Assign & Arrange: Methodologies of Presentation in Art and Dance (2014) and Sowohl als auch Dazwischen: Erfahrungsräume der Kunst (2015). His recent monograph, Rirkrit Tiravanija: Set, Szenario, Situation (2018), is currently being translated into Thai and English. In early 2019, he collaborated with Ari Benjamin Meyers on the exhibition Tacet, working on the concept and making his debut as a performer in the show.

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