Felix Kindermann at Kunsthal Gent

Artist: Felix Kindermann

Exhibition title: Interplays

Venue: Kunsthal Gent, Ghent, Belgium

Date: March 19 – May 16, 2021

Photography: courtesy the artist and Kunsthal Gent

Not the future, but the present is ‘phygital’. Just like our current everyday reality, Felix Kindermann’s new exhibition Interplays moves between the physical and the digital. Invited by Kunsthal Gent to contribute to its Endless Exhibition, Felix Kindermann created a virtual version of his ‘Choir Piece’ (previously presented at KANAL – Centre Pompidou (2020), KIT – Kunst im Tunnel (2020), S.M.A.K. (2019) and Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens (2019)).

Choir Piece is a living sculpture performed by 16 singers, but as such physical exuberance is not possible in times of corona, he recorded the 16 singers spread across the monastery of Kunsthal Gent. We hear these voices reproduced by speakers, circulating in an unpredictable movement through the space via a digital algorithm. For the first time, Felix Kindermann’s research explores the realm of digitisation, translating the modular score Composition for Separated Musicians that he commissioned from US composer Natalie Dietterich into a virtual, moving choir. We hear technically disorganized singing voices, still matching each other harmonically.

With this work, Kindermann continues his exploration of order and chaos, while shifting his attention to the disruptions of perfection in digital processes. Wandering through Kunsthal Gent, we pass clusters with parts of white shoes. On closer inspection, the shoe-stacks turn out to be 3D-prints, unnaturally joined together and covered with digital noise and sharply cut apart, like a 3D-puzzle revealing its machine-production process. Kindermann scanned some of the singer’s shoes in low resolution and re-assembled them as pairs and groups. Like a disrupted reality, the intertwined images of the scan force the printer into its own interpretation, creating unforeseeable digital noise. Referring to the singers’ missing bodies all fragments echo each other as separate parts of a larger whole. So do their voices, of which we never know how the program puts them in motion.

There is neither perfection nor virtuality in real life. The broken shoe-sculptures become emblems of this dilemma, an existential friction, addressed by daily life objects of leisure time and a capitalist economy, non-sustainable throw-away products of a hyper-individualized society. As the sound is echoing in the room, the sculptures seem to be leftovers, traces of a world in-between, in-between reality and virtuality, perception and imagination.

Choir Piece (Virtual Edit, Kunsthal Gent Version), 2021 Concept and text by Felix Kindermann

Composition for Separated Musicians by Natalie Dietterich, commissioned by Felix Kindermann / Performed by Ghent Singers

Sopranos: Jolien De Gendt, Marion Bauwens, Blandine Coulon, Charlotte Schoeters
Alto’s: Estelle Lefort, Anna Nuytten, Sonia Sheridan Jacquelin, Jonathan de Ceuster
Tenors: Henk Pringels, Timo Tembuyser, Leander Van Gijsegem, Ivan Yohan
Bassen: Andrés Soler Castano, Pieter Coene, Mark Trigg, Noah Thys Sound edit by Jürgen De Blonde and Felix Kindermann Recording by Jürgen De Blonde
Made possible with the support of Tascam, the City of Ghent & the Flemish community.

Felix Kindermann

Central to the multifaceted work of Felix Kindermann is the human relationship with our environment and our social structures. Questioning our belonging and our identity in today’s increasingly fragmented society, he departs from the concept of sculpture. Hereby the spatial-sculptural movement of ‘separation and connection‘ is at the same time the thematic focus in relation to living together in our society. By exploring our individual as well as collective corporeality, psyche and communication, his practice investigates social, cultural and political tendencies.

Since 2012 Felix Kindermann has especially explored the sculptural potential and communicative dimensions of music and the human voice. In disassembling and reassembling musical ensembles, whether string quartets or choirs, Kindermann creates coherent entities from fragmented, dysfunctional parts. His approach suggests that assemblies let individuals shine in ways that groups disguise while challenging the potential and limits of self-governed social bodies.

Kindermann (b. 1978, Cologne, Germany) lives and works in Brussels. Recent exhibitions include KANAL – Centre Pompidou, Brussels, Belgium (2020); KIT – Kunst im Tunnel, Düsseldorf, Germany (2020); S.M.A.K., Ghent, Belgium (2019); Fondation CAB, Brussels, Belgium (2019); Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens, Deurle, Belgium (2019); Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden, Baden-Baden, Germany (2015). Upcoming exhibitions include Lewis Center for the Arts, Princeton, US; Simultanhalle and Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Germany. Kindermann, who earned an MFA in Industrial Design from HfbK (Hochschule für bildende Künste Hamburg) and an MFA from Sint-Lukas Brussels in 2010, is currently Visiting Professor of Mixed Media at Sint-Lucas Ghent.