Kubus. Sparda Art Prize 2015
Nevin Aladağ – Peter Vogel – Discoteca Flaming Star
In 2015, the “Kubus. Sparda Art Prize” was presented for the second time. The nominees were Nevin Aladağ, Peter Vogel, and the artist duo Discoteca Flaming Star. The three artistic positions marked different approaches to the theme of “Art & Music”, under which the Kunstmuseum Stuttgart celebrated its tenth anniversary. By awarding the prize to Peter Vogel, who already enjoys great recognition in Japan and America, the artist was also introduced to a broad public in Germany. Vogel also won the Audience Prize, which was awarded for the first time by the Sparda-Bank in addition to the jury prize.
In the video works presented at the Kunstmuseum Stuttgart, Nevin Aladağ (b. 1972 in Van, Turkey) thematized musical forms of expression from various cultures using musical instruments and developed a specific cultural cartography from them. For the exhibition, she also produced a video in Stuttgart. In “Traces” (2015), musical instruments – including an accordion made in Baden-Württemberg – are not played by humans; rather, this task seems to have been taken over by the environment.
The video work is constructed as a triptych in which the three parts are musically and visually related to each other. Both conceptually and compositionally, “Traces” ties in with the video “Session” (2013), which was created in the urban areas and desert of the Emirate of Sharjah. In this session, African and Indian percussion instruments are played by sand, sea, and wind. Both videos can be understood as city portraits that highlight the specific cultural and sociological aspects of a living environment.
Peter Vogel (Freiburg 1937–2017 Freiburg) is considered a pioneer in the field of electronic music. His filigree sculptures – composed of metal rods and tiny electronic components, occasionally in combination with classical musical instruments – react to the movements and shadows of their viewers. The movement in front of the sound objects is translated into tones and tonal sequences by means of integrated photovoltaic cells. He himself described the sculptures as “materialized scores”.
Viewers can directly and immediately influence the tempo, pitch, and timbre – it is only in this interrelation that the works come to life and reveal the spectrum of their possibilities. One of his best-known works is ”Schattenorchester III” (Shadow Orchestra III), which was created between 1998 and 1999. In addition to his acoustic works, the exhibition also presented illuminated objects in which acoustic impulses are transformed into light signals. The Stuttgart exhibition by Peter Vogel had a retrospective character, comprising works from 1974 to 2014.
Discoteca Flaming Star
Discoteca Flaming Star (DFS) is comprised of Cristina Gomez Barrio (b. 1973 in Alhambra, Spain) and Wolfgang Mayer (b. 1967 in Wertach). They always work within cooperative structures and interdisciplinary contexts. Their performances and installations, in which musical elements play a central role, are understood as socio-political events. DFS addresses various forms of cultural and political memory on acoustic and visual levels. In their installations, layers of palimpsest are placed on top of each other and create associative, multi-layered structures.
The starting point of their presentation was the installation/performance work “Sticky Stage”, which began in 2012 and expanded at the Kunstmuseum Stuttgart. It interwove two feature films – Pier Paolo Pasolini’s “Uccellacci e uccellini” (1966) and “The Rehearsal” (1974) by Jules Dassin – with own comments by DFS in the form of videos, documentaries of earlier performances, and banners. The latter are an important component of their installations; banners with textual quotations and varying light transmittance symbolize the theme of layering and concealment. The exhibition was rounded off by three “Arena Seatings” (1999) by Rita McBride.