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Give Rise to Billy Bultheel & Viviana Abelson


The video contribution shows scenes from the 2nd edition of the performance series Give Rise to, entitled UNTER KAMMERMUSIK (2021). The performance was realized together with the Belgian artist Billy Bultheel and the Argentinean artist Viviana Abelson and took place in cooperation with the Landeszeughaus, Graz.

For UNTER KAMMERMUSIK, Bultheel and three other performers use new instruments made by Abelson to enact a contemporary version of a chamber music concert. The choice of this special form of concert was made in connection with reflection on the symbolic meaning of the architecture of the Landeszeughaus. The development of chamber music is connected to the rise of the music room.” From the early modern age, the houses of the affluent middle-class elite began to include these rooms devoted to music, where concerts could take place in intimate spaces. The architectural design, size, and decoration of these music rooms became indicators of the wealth of their owners, so that a very specific economic value was inscribed within the immaterial essence of music. 

The performance is characterized by a conceptual juxtaposition and connection of architecture, infrastructure and economy. UNTER KAMMERMUSIK is one of a number of projects in which Bultheel addresses the links between war and music. Thanks to technological developments for pipes, valves, and bells, for example, it became possible to enter into territories that were beyond the range of human vision. By composing immersive musical scores and experimental soundscapes, Bultheel reanimates the bodies that originally served as the vehicles of war. In UNTERKAMMERMUSIK, he uses the bodies of the performers to achieve this, letting them move through the narrow and dark corridors of the historical building as they play their instruments, creating an intimate acoustic environment for reflection about vulnerability and resilience, darkness and light, the past and the present.

Video: kun​st​-doku​men​ta​tion​.com


Participating artists

Billy Bultheel

*1987 Brussels, lives in Berlin

began his collaboration with artist Anne Imhof in 2013 and became an integral part of her group of close collaborators, beginning with her early works School of the Seven Bells, Parade, Deal, Rage, which have been shown worldwide in museums such as PS1, New York; Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Liste Basel, Basel.

In 2016, Bultheel wrote the music for Imhof’s wildly acclaimed opera ANGST, which was performed at Kunsthalle Basel, Basel; Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin; and MAC Montréal, Montréal. In 2017, at the invitation of Susanne Pfeffer, Bultheel composed and produced the music for Imhof’s performance FAUST for the German Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, which won the Golden Lion for Best National Participation. In 2018, Bultheel brings together his practices in performance and composition in large-scale performance installations. He transforms entire architectural complexes into musical instruments and uses performance to activate these instruments with choreographed movement. Recent works include The Minutes of Olomouc (2020), When Doves Cry (2019), and Signs of Invasion (2018), the latter of which took place at the Schinkel Pavilion in Berlin.

Viviana Abelson

*1985 Buenos Aires, lives in Frankfurt am Main

first studied at the Buenos Aires University, before moving to the University of the Arts in Berlin (Contemporary Photography Class) and then to the Hochschule für Bildende Künste-Städelschule in Frankfurt am Main. Her installations and sculptures are characterized by contrasts. Rigid forms and elastic materials enter into tension-filled connections. The works address the invisible, power-exerting forces that affect us in a larger social context.

The Argentine has had exhibitions at Nassauischer Kunstverein, Wiesbaden; Frankfurter Kunstverein, Frankfurt am Main; Cine Olido, São Paulo; Benaki Museum, Athens; Museu d’Art de Cerdanvola, LOOp Top 10, Barcelona.

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