KW Institute for Contemporary Art

Pause: Broken Sounds

Remote Music—Prepared Pianos from the Archivio Conz Collection

16 - 19 Jan 2020

Benjamin Patterson, Piano d’oiseux tropical, 1989, Courtesy Archivio Conz, Berlin, photo: Giorgia Palmisano
Esther Ferrer, Piano con alas, 1986, Courtesy Archivio Conz, Berlin, photo: Giorgia Palmisano
Pause: Broken Sounds / Remote Music—Prepared Pianos from the Archivio Conz Collection
16–19 January 2020

In collaboration with KW, Archivio Conz presents a five-day event with a selection of more than 20 prepared pianos by artists such as Ay-O, Dorothy Iannone, Carolee Schneemann, Nam June Paik, and Ben Patterson from Francesco Conz’s (1935–2010) collection to create a poetical environment, a possible architecture. Within such scenario a number of performances by Charlemagne Palestine, Phillip Sollmann & Konrad Sprenger, Angharad Williams, Sky Walking, Nina Kurtela, and others take place.

The complete collection of more than 65 pianos was commissioned by Conz as a continuation of the tradition of the prepared piano established by John Cage at the end of the 1930s. Various avant-garde movements have manipulated the instruments during the years and Conz put together a collection of prepared pianos from many artists that populated his lifetime. Archivio Conz houses artworks, documents, editions and personal belongings collected and catalyzed by Francesco Conz over the course of more than 30 years. More than a collector, he worked closely with artists of the main artistic avant-garde movements of his time: Fluxus, Viennese Actionism, Zaj, Lettrisme, Concrete Poetry, Visual Poetry, Sound Poetry, and Gorgona. He left a collection of more than 3000 items by over 150 artists that are now stored in Berlin.

Echoing the exhibition at KW, an ongoing project and collaboration between Archivo Conz and Filip Berg entitled COPY SHOP takes places at Edizioni Conz Raum in the front building of KW. Exploring the idea of multiples, combined with that of merchandising of popular music concerts, COPY SHOP presents works by George Brecht, Astrid Furnival, and John Giorno to translate pieces from the art archive into wearable multiples. Demonstrating one of the Fluxus movement’s core notion, that art must be accessible and obtainable by all.

Curators: Gigiotto Del Vecchio, Stefania Palumbo
Curatorial Assistance: Sabrina Herrmann, Mariamargherita Maceli
In collaboration with Archivio Conz

Tags: Archivio Conz, Stefania Palumbo, Gigiotto Del Vecchio