Thomas Baumann and Michael Klaar


01.06. - 30.06.2014

Image Credits


01.06. - 30.06.2014


Kunsthaus Graz, BIX Fassade

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About the

Based on Johann Sebastian Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier II, Fugue VII, the artist Thomas Baumann and the conductor Michael Klaar have cooperated in the creation of a singular work that relies on the course of the music to define the BIX Light and Media Facade.

Drawn from the language of music, the structure allows the various voices of alto, soprano, tenor and bass to flow into an image program that refers to the potential to transform the concept of a digital square, thus creating a kind of visual scale.

A key concept in art ever since Malevitsch, the black square has been attacked repeatedly and consistently examined in the course of the general questioning of the image in the 20th century. The bold architecture of the Kunsthaus Graz now breaks with this standard form of the right angle and takes its form, biomorphic and fitting into its surroundings, into the urban space. In his approach to the facade, Thomas Baumann works nonetheless with a square grid pattern, on the one hand creating a conflict and a visual dialogue with the round shape of the architecture and the light installation on the external skin; on the other hand, the visual score refers to the digital programming language used for the implementation and its most reduced form.

Underlying Baumann’s works is an intensive examination of electronically controlled processes that makes a winking reference to today’s faith in technology, but which does not combine into a superficial formulation; instead, it manages to involve current technology and the resulting strategies in an artistic practice. The dance of images that crystallizes out of the collaboration between the musician and the artist acts on the audience’s sense of time and turns the static architecture into a location of performative development, where space is perceptible in unison with time. As a result, Baumann’s work is not self-contained, but should be interpreted within a cycle of works: the Plot:Bach is also based on a machine – a plotter – that creates images according to a mathematical program.

Thomas Baumann’s work is the first large-scale configuration to be displayed by a fine artist on the facade. Carsten Nicolai and John deKron used it for the opening of the building within the context of a musical performance. In his work, Baumann draws in elements of a classical-modern image language with new forms of representation in order to generate his own language from it and to make precisely this connection understandable for the observer: over a period of two months, Plot:Bach will examine the principles and possibilities of the media facade and provides a sensually challenging narrative that constantly presents itself in new forms, whose language is the geometric shapes of the rectangle.

This makes Plot:Bach literally both a conspiracy with the architecture and also a story that employs the facade via image, rhythm and the resulting episodic development as an instrument of communication, thereby creating something like the first screenplay for the electronic skin of the building.

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Thomas Baumann
Michael Klaar