gerhard rühm and monika lichtenfeld: speech concert
 The graphic shows the poster of the exhibition »soon | Just | Now Gerhard rühm as an intermediary «
solo texts and duets
Sat, 01.04.2017, 6 pm CEST

As a poet, composer, visual artist and interpreter of his own pieces, Gerhard Rühm is considered a cross-over talent avant la lettre. As part of the programmatic exhibition series »Poetic Expansions« and his retrospective ”soon | just | now«, the ZKM presents a soirée with the crossover artist of music, letters and radical language experiments. The program includes a selection of solo texts and duets, during which music scientist and publisher Monika Lichtenfeld will support the language artist.

Gerhard Rühm’s poetic work is situated in the tradition of literary expressionists, such as August Stramm, and Dadaists, like Hugo Ball and Kurt Schwitters. As a member of the »Wiener Gruppe«, Rühm has contributed considerably to continuing the traditions of sound poetry violently interrupted by the National Socialists, even rediscovering it.

His rare live appearances lead to the limits of linguistic thoughts and articulation. Rühm’s repertoire comprises sound poems, which are only realized by the breathing of the presenter in their most reduced form. Rühm has compiled the typical vernacular of his Viennese homeland into dialect texts, in which the sounds produce a congenial sound piece, which no longer has any semantic meaning.

If the limits of our language are really the limits of our world – as Ludwig Wittgenstein writes in his Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (1921) – then the work of Gerhard Rühm attempts to throw all limits wide open.

For this reason, Gerhard Rühm also provided a variation of Ludwig Wittgenstein’s famous sentence »Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent«. It states: »Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must sing«.  

In this sense, the ZKM promises an exciting and entertaining reading with Gerhard Rühm and Monika Lichtenfeld.

Organization / Institution
ZKM | Center for Art and Media

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