july 03, 2011.
It was only few days after the Last but not Least Arm Party at the Rondeel that I came back once again to Maastricht, to a quite different spectacle of sights and sounds.
The sheer endless procession that came parading diagonally across the Vrijthof on Saturday May 28th, accompanied by the deep and solemn ringing of the great bells of the Basilica of Saint Servatius, was not a part of the 12th Maastricht Kunsttour, that was taking place that weekend. But I did welcome it as such, for its sight and sound did make a wonderful upbeat to the small installation that I had just set up on the first floor of the Hoofdwacht, the 'Grand Garde', on that very same Vrijthof next to the church, from whose windows I watched the religious parade.
My contribution to this year's Kunsttour consisted in a miniature, a model (table version) of the 'Life is a Color Wire' installation that we realized 'for real' in September last year, on the Maastricht Markt. (You can read about that, in great detail, in Life is a Color Wire [i] and Life is a Color Wire 2. The model was just that: a model. Or rather, it was an improvised, a no-budget, model; kind of a model of the model that I would like it, one day, to be ( * ). As a background, there played a 30 minute one-shot video loop of the old town hall on the market, that I had shot earlier that week, on Monday. The soundtrack, on the other hand, was exactly the same that, also in double stereo, could be heard as part of the 'real life' version.
Life is a Color Wire is part of the Auditive Atlas project, initiated by Intro in situ, which, during the 2 days of the Kunsttour, was presented in an original way, by means of the project's 'klankpaal': a listening pole or sound pole. The contraption has been modeled after the border stones (grenspalen), which, for example, still mark the border between Holland and Belgium (ever since the separation of the two royalties, in 1839). There was one out in the fields, not far from where I lived as a kid, and we often played with it, imagining it being a rocket that would take us to the moon and beyond.
The klankpaal is a big and pretty fat version of these old border stones, which, you will agree, does look as if it is something pretty lethal; an atomic bomb, maybe.
Intro in situ's klankpaal was set up just outside of the Hoofdwacht. It contains seven three minute extracts from the current Auditive Atlas collection, which sound through the inbuilt loudspeakers, and can be chosen by turning the pole; which is like turning the dial of a radio receiver. The device of course incites the curiosity of the passers-by, so it indeed is a nice way to present the project, and have this Auditive Atlas, or at least its idea, reach an audience that beyond the one largely made up from 'the usual suspects'.
The current economic crisis, and the ensuing economizing wave, which is dramatically reducing the availability of public funding for cultural initiatives and projects in the Netherlands, made this year's Kunsttour's edition one of a more modest scale than some of its previous editions.
Previous editions of the Kunsttour had their headquarters in the Timmerfabriek. This year, however, the Timmerfabriek was about to be transformed into the 'biggest temporary European art museum', which, under the title Out of Storage, will show, for almost half a year, hundreds of works from the collection of the French Fonds Régional d’Art Contemporain (FRAC) Nord-Pas de Calais (including works by Spoerri, Warhol, LeWitt and many more artists) in Maastricht.
The Kunsttour therefore settled for the other side of the road, which, after a rather 'highbrow' first hour (with free special beers and groene asperges met grottenham en mosterd/noten dressing) in the shiny re-decorated building that is taken up by the Informatiecentrum Belvédère, gave the Kunsttour's opening on Friday May 27th in the Eiffel building a familiar 'underground' feel and look.
Meanwhile, at the Bassin, a small port next to the Timmerfabriek, German artist Stefan Rummel was still laboring to finish his Articulated Chambers, assisted by his companion Anja Gerecke and Stichting Intro's technical wizard Paul Caron. Stefan's installation, made as part of the Resonance sound art network, consists in two wooden chambers. One is standing on the quay. The second, somewhat smaller one, is floating on the water. The two pieces are connected by 4 metal articulations, and visitors can move from the one into the other, and back again, via a short gangplank.
Stefan's Articulated Chambers were an official part of the Kunsttour. But the installation also seemed to be, in a way, this year's Kunsttour's best-kept secret, with little to indicate the installation's where-about's, somewhere off-route, mimicking the industrial look of its surroundings, at the far end of the (non-public) parking lot lining the (still closed) Timmerfabriek.
The piece, however, continued to be there also after the Kunsttour, and will remain in Maastricht at the Bassin until the end of August. You can visit the solar cell powered sound installation there 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
In Maastricht and elsewhere I spoke a lot with Stefan about his work. You can read about that on the Resonance blog: Something to walk into, something that surrounds you ('It says: “Oh yes, this is where I belong!” but at the same time asks: “What the hell am I doing here?”').
SoundBlog entries about the yearly Kunsttour in Maastricht, the Netherlands:
(june 06, 2013) - A Carcassonne Yodel in Blue [Kunsttour 2013]
(july 03, 2011) - Life is a Color Wire 3 - table version [KT2011]
(june 17, 2010) - Sunny soundy days [KT2010, iii]
(june 10, 2010) - A kitchen table and a game of cards [KT2010, ii]
(may 30, 2010) - Auto*noom en un*titled [KT2010, i]
(june 13, 2009) - More Best Before [KT2009, v]
(june 01, 2009) - Playing The Popular Classics [KT2009, iv]
(may 30, 2009) - "Also high bridges over the river" [KT2009, iii]
(may 28, 2009) - A sound is a sound that sounds [KT2009, ii]
(may 23, 2009) - It feels like summer in the city [KT2009, i]
(june 06, 2008) - Raudio Graffiti: almost live ! [KT2008]
(september 04, 2007) - "leve ookoi!" - iii. ... under scare vogel
crow vlucht score down ... [KT2007, iii]
(august 22, 2007) - "leve ookoi!" - ii. OK. Let's Dance... [KT2007, ii]
(august 12, 2007) - "leve ookoi!" - i. Certified Reconditioned [KT2007, i]
(june 04, 2006) - Sonofakunsttoer [KT2006]
notes __ ::
(*) My preferred format for the model-to-be is even smaller: I'm thinking of a limited edition plastic-cast multiple, with the two statues, fully transparent, inside a closed transparent box, and a little red flickering light for Minckeleers' flame. Such is to be the next, and final, version of 'Life is a Color Wire'. [ ^ ]
tags: Maastricht, Kunsttour, Stefan Rummel, Resonance, sound, art
comments for Life is A Color Wire 3 (table version/KT2011) ::
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