Rolf Julius: Two spaces (walking)
After the solo shows in 2001 and 2005, Thursday 27 September will see the opening of Rolf Julius's third exhibition for e/static which will take place in two spaces contemporaneously. At blank, via Reggio 27, the German artist will be presenting several new works together with a number of older pieces, all of which will be on show in Italy for the first time. While much of this work has an explicit audio component, some pieces prefer to evoke or represent sound, such as Piano Piece nr. 4, which is open to a possible translation into music by a performer, or Rücken, a photographic work from 1976 that Julius has reworked for this show and which is imbued with a kind of abstract 'visual musicality'. A particularly significant inclusion is 1979's Deichlinie, shown for the first time as part of the pathbreaking collective exhibition Für Augen und Ohren held in Berlin in 1980 where curator Renè Block made the first significant attempt to map international research by artists exploring relations between sound/music and visual art. Though this work marked an important turning point in Julius's artistic career, it has never been publicly shown since. For his new show Julius will be proposing a variation in the form of a multimedia installation at the 'historic' e/static site in via Parma 21, where the sound component will be very much to the fore, while the work's relationship to the space remains a determining factor.
In the 1970s Rolf Julius was one of the first artists to introduce sound into a visual art context. His stature as a pioneer in this area of research (along with artists such as Max Newhaus, Christina Kubisch, Takehisa Kosugi, Akio Suzuki and Hans Peter Kuhn) is undisputed. But equally important through the years has been his innate propensity for experiment with new forms of expression, mixing every day objects and traditional techniques with new tools and technologies, all of which makes him a 'young' artist, despite the fact he was born in 1939, the freshness and poetry of whose work continues to surprise and delight. Though his style is instantly recognizable, each new show seems somehow different from the last, and every work in it appears to belong to the space it inhabits with absolute naturalness, almost as though its elements were an organic, living, intimately moving part of its surroundings.
After his participation in the Für Augen und Ohren exhibition in 1980 in Berlin, Rolf Julius's works have since been shown in countless major exhibitions and important museums around the world, such as New York's PS1 (1983), the 1985 Paris Biennial, documenta 8, Kassel (1987), the Hamburger Banhof, Berlino (1998), Pittsburgh's Mattress Factory (2001), the Fridericianum, Kassel (again in 2001), the Centre Pompidou (2004), the two editions of Sonambiente, Berlin (in 1996 and 2006), Museum Bochum (2006), Kyoto's National Museum for Modern Art (2007), as well as in various galleries and non-profit spaces in Berlin, Paris, Tokyo, Bordeaux, San Francisco, Montpellier and Barcelona. In 2005, in Berlin, Julius was awarded the Hannah-Höch-Preis. His works are present in the collections of a number of major institutions: the FRACs Limousine, Bourgogne, Languedoc-Roussillon and Rhône Alpes, the Hamburger Banhof and the Mattress Factory, as well as important private collections in Germany, Italy and the US.
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