The project presented in the series 'Sound Systems'.
‘Elevator Music’ is a homage to the contemporary redefinition of the concept of transitory spaces, often woefully unnoticed within the realms of daily human activities. As a performative installation within the building of TRAFO it surprises and disturbes the un-expecting visitor as he or she moves through the different levels of the institution. The motions of leaving and entering the space are reflected above all in the music and references Meyer’s earlier work, ‘Chamber Music’ composed for the Berlinische Galerie in 2013. Despite the architectural necessity of such in-between spaces, the importance of their role and functionality is often belied by their noticeability within a given architectural model. ‘Elevator Music’ flips the the expectations of banality and boredom as encountered in the process of such journeys on their head, allowing Meyers to highlight the moments of everyday ordinariness by exploiting the performative possibilities of such transitory minutes. The work features musician Ayumi Paul on violin.
Ari Benjamin Meyers, born 1972 in New York, lives and works in Berlin. In his work Meyers, who trained as a composer and conductor at The Juilliard School, Yale University, and Peabody Institute, explores structures and processes that redefine the performative, social, and ephemeral nature of music. Past solo exhibitions and projects include Black Thoughts, Esther Schipper (2013); Chamber Music (Vestibule), Berlinische Galerie (2013-2014); Just in Time, Just in Sequence, This is Not Detroit Festival, Schauspielhaus Bochum (2014); The Verismo Project (Franz Hartwig, A Most Wanted Man) Kino International Berlin (2015); Beating Time, Martin-Gropius-Bau Berlin (2015); Duet, Darb 1718, Cairo (2015); Memories of the Future, Museum of Modern Art Warsaw (2016); The Name of This Band is The Art, RaebervonStenglin Zurich (2016). Upcoming exhibitions include Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin (2016); Spring Workshop, Hong Kong (2017); Witte de With, Rotterdam (2017); Lenbachhaus, Munich (2017). Meyers has worked and performed with various bands including The Residents, Einstürzende Neubauten, and Chicks on Speed. Selected collaborations include Ravel, Ravel, French Pavilion, 55th Venice Biennale (2013) with Anri Sala; Morphy, Fondation Louis Vuitton (2014); T.451, Tensta Konsthall (2012); K.62/K.85, Performa '09, New York (2009) all with Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster. Meyers was Music Director for the staged group show Il Tempo del Postino curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist and Philippe Parreno (Manchester International Festival, 2007 and Art Basel, 2009). Collaborations with Tino Sehgal include Symphony X (installation version), KW Berlin and K21 Dusseldorf (2014) This Variation, Documenta 13 Kassel (2012) and a new ballet to premiere at the Paris Opera in September 2016. The book 'Music on Display' chronicling his work and practice has been recently released by the publisher Walther König.
‘Sound Systems’ Series
From June-December 2016, TRAFO presents a row of exhibitions titled ‘Sound Systems’ featuring installations and commissions by selected artists focused around the topic of sound. The series includes site-specific interventions from artists Janet Cardiff, Mateusz Chorobski, Ari Benjamin Meyers, Andreas Greiner, Tyler Friedman, and Konrad Smolenski. The schedule of the shows and accompanying events will be announced on an ongoing basis. The commissions, which receive their premiere in TRAFO, were created in collaboration with curator Marie-Eve Lafontaine.