Andreas M. Kaufmann

Article excerpt


In 1962, the Hungarian composer Gyorgy Ligeti premiered his Poeme Symphonique, a musical piece for a hundred metronomes. By positing the metronome as the performer of the concert (the pendulum weights were set so that each beat at a different speed), the work inverted the normal functions and roles of practical aids and musical instruments. Although he was perhaps not explicitly referencing Ligeti, Andreas M. Kaufmann practiced a similar reversal in his recent exhibition "Move," distributing twenty-seven metronomes across five levels of scaffolding and the gallery floor. The uneven clicking of the metronomes marking various times filled the space with what sounded like a concert given by a host of neurotically chirping crickets.

Viewers were confronted by more than just this acoustical attack. Kaufmann paired each clicking metronome with a television monitor displaying views of the gallery space from varying angles. Depending on where you stood, you could see yourself on a monitor; viewers could interact with the work by moving closer or stepping off-screen. Perhaps the most irritating aspect of the installation was this: The views onto the gallery space were never fixed, but rather moved back and forth at different tempos like the swinging of the pendulums. As the observer looked at herself on the monitor, she appeared to be swaying stiffly, like Gilbert & George in the sequence "Bend It," from their 1981 film The World of Gilbert & George. Searching for the camera, one eventually realized that tiny surveillance cameras were attached to the pendulums of the metronomes. …


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