Kunsthalle Mainz - Germany

Activation, “Solo for Ayumi”: July 6–7, 10am–5pm by Manon Parent
Activation, “Who’s Afraid of Sol La Ti?”: October 10–13, 10am–5pm by Susanne Fröhlich

Ari Benjamin Meyers’ works evolve from his longstanding interest in pushing the boundaries between fine art and music. Composing, the process of rehearsing and performing musical scores move away from orchestra pits and concert stages to exhibition venues and public spaces. Perfection, mastery and uniqueness are replaced by open, communal processes, characterized by dialogue, learning, a multiplicity of voices, and repetition.

For Ari Benjamin Meyers composition encompasses not only different ways of arranging sound but also performative, installative and artistic elements—often rendered accessible for musicians and non-musicians alike. Composition unites artistic and performative modes of production with those that are based on theory and social policy; with his open scores, orchestra projects and performances, he explores social structures and the complex and rapidly changing nature of contemporary life. “I am interested”, as Meyers himself has said, “in composing, rehearsing, scoring and performing moments, situations, social relationships, and bodies. Composing reality, composing space, composing oneself.”

Performance as an ongoing process of rehearsing manifests the core of his work. He employs an expanded mode of rehearsal as an instrument for experiencing, investigating and shaping relationships between people, and thus between diverse realities, spaces and times. This makes it a force that can inspire a community and shape the present and future.

In his exhibition Always Rehearsing at Kunsthalle Mainz, Ari Benjamin Meyers brings together multimedia works from various phases of his career to provide an overview of his fields of interests to date. The works on view offer insights into Meyers‘ understanding of music and the central role his notion of rehearsal has in it: visitors are invited to become part of the works by engaging in the process of rehearsal themselves. Beside this continual activation of individual works by staff and visitors to Kunsthalle Mainz, the exhibition comprises appearances by invited guest performers throughout its duration. Indeed, with his exhibition Meyers opens a space to rehearse what an exhibition can be: an encounter of relations between objects, visitors and performers, as well as for dialogue and production. By offering the visitors a chance to directly engage with the works, the borders between staging, performance and reception are being continuously challenged. What does it mean to open the exhibition site as a site of an ongoing rehearsal, a space for collective encounter and production? These are questions posed by the exhibition—as a show that can be seen, sung, played and heard—and visitors are explicitly welcome to play an active role in answering it.

The exhibition Always Rehearsing is curated by Stefanie Böttcher. It is made possible with the support of Ministry for Family Affairs, Women, Culture and Integration Rhineland-Palatinate, Karrié Bauunternehmung, Stiftung Flughafen Frankfurt/Mainz, Landeshauptstadt Mainz and Esther Schipper.

Link: www.kunsthalle-mainz.de