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Thursday
29
MAR

Brian Eno - "Empty Formalism" | ISM Hexadome

18:00
22:00
Gropius Bau
Event organized by Gropius Bau

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The Institute for Sound and Music is proud to present Brian Eno's "Empty Formalism." This is the first installation for the ISM Hexadome and the world premiere of Brian Eno's latest work commissioned for the ISM Hexadome at Gropius Bau in Berlin.

EMPTY FORMALISM
A few years ago I was at a painting show with a friend of mine. He was critical of the work. He said, "Well, it's just empty formalism isn't it?" I thought, "Yes, it is. And actually that's what I like—empty formalism. Like music..."

It's funny that visual art is expected to have some sort of decodable message, to be translatable into words (which is what art critics think their job is), whereas nobody expects that of music. Music has always been a completely abstract art form and nobody minds. It never had a figurative life: there was never a form of music that painted sound-pictures of landscapes or nude torsos or groups of peasants in villages.

Whereas people will say of an abstract painting "What's it meant to be? What does it mean?" they never ask the same questions about music. Music is what it is, and you either like it or you don't. You don't have to "understand it." Nobody ever said of a Roy Orbison song, or a Mozart sonata: "I don't understand it, I don't know what it's supposed to mean." It is what it is, and its "meaning"—whatever that word means—is its effect on you.

This show is a version of empty formalism. By that I mean that the work is closer to the history of music than to the history of painting or sculpture.


Brian Eno is an English musician, composer, record producer, singer, writer, and visual artist. He is best known for his pioneering work in ambient music and contributions to rock, pop, electronic, and generative music. A self-described "non-musician," Eno has helped to introduce a variety of unique conceptual approaches and recording techniques into contemporary music, advocating a methodology of "theory over practice" throughout his career.

PUBLIC OPENING
Thursday, March 29th, 6pm to 10pm
Gropius Bau, Berlin

ARTIST TALK
Brian Eno & Thomas Oberender
Introduction: Nicholas Meehan, ISM
Saturday, March 31st, 7pm - 9pm
Gropius Bau, Berlin

Thomas Oberender, Artistic Director of the Berliner Festspiele speaks with English musician, composer, record producer, singer, artist and founding father of ambient music Brian Eno. The pair will explore topics including technology, future society, philosophy and architecture, among others. Brian Eno joins Thomas Oberender for this talk during a week long audio visual presentation entitled ‘Empty Formalism’ for the ISM Hexadome, hosted at the Gropius Bau.

INSTALLATION SCHEDULE: BRIAN ENO "EMPTY FORMALISM"

Thursday, March 29th, 18:00 - 22:00
Friday, March 30th, 18:00 - 22:00
Saturday, March 31st, 10:00 - 22:00
Sunday, April 1st, 10:00 - 22:00
Monday, April 2nd, 18:00 - 22:00
Tuesday, April 3rd, 18:00 - 22:00
Wednesday, April 4th, 18:00 - 22:00
Thursday, April 5th, 18:00 - 22:00

Installation Tickets available at the entrance of Martin-Gropius-Bau on the day of each showing.
Artist Talk tickets: https://goo.gl/GuSPoY

Follow ISM Hexadome on
Twitter: @ismhexadome
Instagram: @ismhexadome
#ismhexadome #gropiusbau

Funded by:
German Federal Cultural Foundation, Senate Department of Culture and Europe.

Presented in collaboration with:
Pfadfinderei, ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe, Norient, IRCAM, Deutschlandfunk Kultur.

A guest at Gropius Bau.

Official Partner:
Audi City Berlin.

Supported by:
System 180, Meyer Sound, Resolume, Squareball, Krombacher, Schweppes.

Venue

Gropius Bau