The Centre of Attention the centre of attention at
Schwanengesang

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Der 'Schwanengesang' ist in der griechischen Mythologie ein Ausdruck der besagt, dass Schwäne vor ihrem Tode noch einmal mit trauriger und wunderschöner Stimme ein letztes Lied anstimmen. In der Installation des Londoner Kuratorenduos The Centre of Attention können Sie sich aus einer Jukebox das Lied aussuchen, das Sie gerne bei Ihrer eigenen Beerdigung spielen ließen. Die Kuratoren gestalten die Galerie als einen Ort der Ruhe, in dem Sie sich umgeben von Stillleben, einer 'nature morte', würdevoll aufbahren lassen können und diesem einen Musikstück, das Ihr Leben zusammenfasst, lauschen. Ausgestellt werden Werke der Londoner Künstler Emi Avora, Jasper Joffe, Benedict Carpenter und Simon Faithfull.

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Schwanengesang
(Swansong)

Exhibition: 21 October to 24 October 2004, 19.00 till late
as part of Plateaux, international platform for young theatre directors
At Künstlerhaus Mousonturm, Waldschmitstr. 4, D60316 Frankfurt/Main

 

Skull by Simon Faithfull as part of Schwanengesang
Simon Faithfull, Skull, 2004

 

The Centre of Attention was commissioned to create an exhibition for Plateaux at the Kunstlerhaus MousonTurm Frankfurt, Germany.

For Schwanengesang the gallery space meets the chapel of rest in a work that offers the audience an opportunity to rehearse one's own funeral.
First the participant selects a song for the ceremony, which is downloaded from the web, then they lay on a plinth, performing death, while the song is played.

Increasing use of popular songs at funerals means one can make strong statements literally (with lyrics) or atmospherically. Here we contrast the idea of music as a shorthand for complex statements and emotional concepts with the banality of the funeral and the service.

Formally with Schwanengesang, we wanted to reverse the viewer/art-object dynamic, while allowing also a statement to be generated and examined by the audience itself.

Audience, artist, collaboration; life and death; visual, aural and performance are disrupted and recombined. References to the art genres of still life or nature morte, the Vanitas portrait, and the death mask can also be made.

With Schwanengesang the Centre of Attention functions as a pseudopodia reaching tentatively for Frankfurt, with the reminder that you must die.

Schwanengesang features works by Emi Avora, Benedict Carpenter, Simon Faithfull and Jasper Joffe.

Click here for the press release in Word

The Centre of Attention at Künstlerhaus Mousonturm
Waldschmitstraße 4, 60316 Frankfurt/Main
Donnerstag 21.10. 2004 bis Sontag 24.10. 2004 ab 19.00 h
as part of PLATEAUX - International platform for young theatre directors
With thanks to Thomas Frank