Performance times
Thursday and Friday: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Artist and composer Ari Benjamin Meyers’s KUNSTHALLE FOR MUSIC, founded in 2017, is making its debut in the context of a collection. Set amid Hans Hollein’s iconic architecture and surrounded by the museum collection, the dynamic live music exhibition will establish connections with Fluxus and the expanded art concepts of the 1960s and 70s while recalling their historical ideals and thinking them further.

Over a period of seven weeks, from Thursday to Sunday, the KUNSTHALLE FOR MUSIC ensemble will present a wide-ranging and site-specific choreographed repertoire of musical pieces. The exhibition score leaves room for variation and new works will continue to be added, ensuring that each visit is a unique experience. Solos, duets, and group pieces that invite listening and sometimes participation testify to a deep engagement with the possibilities, qualities, and contexts of music.

Sunday, May 5: Day-long opening and introduction of the first new commission by Irmin Schmidt
Thursday, May 16, 5–11 p.m.: Sparda Night on the Third Thursday with guided tours, talks, and concerts (admission free)
Friday, May 17 – Sunday, May 19: Introduction of the second new commission by Melika Ngombe Kolongo (aka Nkisi)
Friday, May 31 – Sunday, June 2: Introduction of the third new commission by Rory Pilgrim
Thursday, June 20, 7 p.m.: Exhibition talk with the ensemble
Sunday, June 23, 12 p.m.: Finissage on Museum Abteiberg’s 42nd birthday

Exhibition booklet
Click here

Ari Benjamin Meyers (b. 1972 in New York) studied composition and conducting at the Juilliard School in New York, Yale University in New Haven, and the Peabody Institute in Baltimore. Based in Berlin since the late 1990s, his internationally featured projects explore the structures and processes inherent in the performative, social, and ephemeral nature of music. Meyers’s works often turn attention to overlooked details of playing and listening. Earlier work by the artist has explored musical scores, for example, but also the shapes and placement of musical instruments and concert settings. Many of his compositions and performances playfully navigate the dynamic between interpreter and audience.

The KUNSTHALLE FOR MUSIC is a nomadic institution dedicated to creating musical, experiential spaces in visual arts venues and public settings. The concept for KUNSTHALLE FOR MUSIC was first developed by Meyers as part of a commission for Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art in Rotterdam and the Spring Workshop in Hong Kong. Initial KUNSTHALLE FOR MUSIC performances and exhibitions were held at Witte de With (now: Kunstinstituut Melly) in 2018, at the Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara in California, and at the VAC Foundation in Moscow in 2019. An “educational version” followed in 2022 at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. The KUNSTHALLE FOR MUSIC in Mönchengladbach opened with Act I in the summer of 2022—a performance evening in the sculpture garden on the 40th anniversary of the Museum Abteiberg. Acts II and III follow in 2024.

The ever-growing repertoire—the KUNSTHALLE FOR MUSIC collection—derives from Ari Benjamin Meyers’s so-called Songbook. Spanning some 130 years of music history, it contains the artist’s own compositions alongside works by John Baldessari, Jonathan Bepler, Marcel Duchamp, Philip Glass, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Yoko Ono, Laure Prouvost, Terry Riley, Anri Sala & Franz Ferdinand, Erik Satie, and Superflex, among others.

Meyers has commissioned three international guests to create new work for the KUNSTHALLE FOR MUSIC: Irmin Schmidt, a student of Karlheinz Stockhausen and co-founder of the band Can, formed in 1968; Melika Ngombe Kolongo (also known as Nkisi), Congolese-Belgian music producer, artist and DJ; and the British artist and activist Rory Pilgrim. Their new compositions will be rehearsed in public before being incorporated into the exhibition score. The KUNSTHALLE FOR MUSIC in Mönchengladbach will also be complemented by selected works from the ANDERSCH COLLECTION/ARCHIVE, the extensive Fluxus collection compiled by Erik and Dorothee Andersch. The ANDERSCH COLLECTION/ARCHIVE has been housed in the Museum Abteiberg since 2018.

Other information
KUNSTHALLE FOR MUSIC Mönchengladbach ensemble: Chiara Cecconello (ensemble head, flute), Maria del Mar Ribas (cello), Benjamin Enders (guitar, bass, percussion), Patrick Hänsler (guitar), Sung Mi Marina Kim (violin), Christian Löffel (piano), Christopher Loy (cello), Dominik Schmitt (guitar, bass), Roland Sonnabend (guitar, bass, percussion), Enrico Taubmann (saxophone)
Rehearsal Director & Creative Dramaturge: Sandhya Daemgen

The project KUNSTHALLE FOR MUSIC is curated by Susanne Titz and Gian Marco Hölk. It is made possible with support from the Ministry of Culture and Science of North Rhine-Westphalia, Kunststiftung NRW, the Foundation for Art, Culture, and Social Affairs of the Sparda-Bank West, the Hans Fries Foundation and the Museumsverein Abteiberg.

Fig.1 + 2: KUNSTHALLE FOR MUSIC in Mönchengladbach, Act II, Workshop, Museum Abteiberg, 2024, Photo: Carlos Albuquerque