Painter, sculptor, installation artist, performer, archivist, curator, collector, publisher, gallerist, bookshop owner, and more, John M Armleder (b. 1948, Geneva, Switzerland) is one of the most singular figures and at the same time essential to the art of the past fifty years.
At KANAL- Centre Pompidou, the artist is invited to take over the showroom areas of the former Citroën garage for seven months: Armleder proposes, in dialogue with a series of new monumental installations that he specifically designed for the site, a constellation of exhibitions, live events and workshops, offering the opportunity to dive into his world and the one of those he loves.
John M Armleder has always conceived his art as one in dialogue with all artforms: visual arts, performing arts, music… Therefore, it is no surprise that performances and music play an important part all through It never ends and are intertwined with the concept of It never ends itself.
German-born artist David Helbich has been invited by KANAL as associated artist for the duration of It Never Ends. Throughout the seven months of the exhibition he will present several performances and interventions:
In Scores for the body, the building & the souls, Helbich proposes a booklet full of performance scores especially for the showroom of KANAL. With these instructions the visitors of the exhibition are invited to self-perform the actions. Each performance engages both the architecture of the building and the history of performance art. The visitor enacts a multilayered composition through his or her body.
Celebrating what comes back to you, praising what leaves you: in Ovations: Human delays from Inner space, David Helbich invites the audience to a deep listening experience using sounds recorded in places with reverb tails as long as their history. Spread out over an entire floor of the former Citroën showroom, the listeners will be guided to the moment where sound disappears, wondering if it really ever left us.
Many more artists, such as Felix Kindermann, young artist Calixto Neto or even Mette Ingvartsen will join David Helbich and John M Armleder throughout these seven months.
In staging the choir Ghent Singers as a moving sculpture, Felix Kindermann’sChoir Piece questions our relationship with the term togetherness, mirroring today’s Zeitgeist along with its societal distortions. Through rearrangement, fragmentation and techniques of acoustic distortion, the work creates a feeling of alienation, destabilizing the interrelated appearance of the choir as a familiar cultural asset.
Calixto Neto’s Oh! Rage works on making minority bodies visible and remodeling their imaginaries. Based on a research into dances that have been developed on the margins of institutions, his first solo focuses on the representation of black bodies. He brings in the movements of Afropunk and Afrofuturism, post-colonial research, back studies and contemporary art. This critical intention is embodied on stage through a technical strategy which is itself subversive: Calixto Neto remains for a good part of the show with his back to the audience, a position that makes him vulnerable, while expressing a form of resistance.
The Blue Piece is a museum version for two dancers of “To come” an earlier work for five performers by Mette Ingvartsen in 2005. Through this performance, Ingvartsen questions our environment in which we are constantly surrounded by images of sexual bodies through commercials, internet, cinema and magazines.
In Grammatica, performance artist Evelien Cammaert and visual artist Joris Perdieu will dissect the process of creating an artwork. The interaction of their artistic disciplines creates a composition of light, colour, time and space. Grammatica is a laboratory for the relationship between artwork, artist and audience.