Body Instruments  2021

Body Instruments

Body Instruments at "Museum Tinguely AHOY!", Performance in Duisburg (Performer: Przemek Kamiński) (video by Attila Gaspar)

Body Instruments

Body Instruments (Accordion Wings), 2021

Wood (multiplex birch, veneer walnut), cardboard, cotton, leather, plastic, steel plate, steel
H 57 x W 35 x D 17 cm
(photo credits: Trevor Good)

Body Instruments

Body Instruments (Drum Hat), 2021

Wood (multiplex birch, veneer walnut, walnut balls), leather, textile, steel
H 40 x W 20 x D 25 cm
(photo credits: Trevor Good)

Body Instruments

Body Instruments (Rainmaker Hat), 2021

Wood (multiplex birch, veneer walnut), leather, stainless steel, textile, steel
Ø 55cm x H 22cm
(photo credits: Trevor Good)

Body Instruments

Body Instruments (Foot Bells), 2021

Leather, bells (steel plate)
H 25 x W 44 x 3 cm
(photo credits: Trevor Good)

Body Instruments

Body Instruments (Rainmaker Hat), Body Instruments (Drum Hat), Body Instruments (Accordion Wings), Body Instruments (Foot Bells), 2021

(performer: Przemek Kamiński)
(photo credits: Trevor Good)

Body Instruments

Museum Tinguely AHOY!, Museum Tinguely, Basel, Performance in Amsterdam

Performance duration variable
(performer: Darko Radosavljev)
(photo credits: Matthias Willi)

Body Instruments

Museum Tinguely AHOY!, Museum Tinguely, Basel, Performance in Paris

Performance duration variable
(performer: Darko Radosavljev)
(photo credits: Matthias Willi)


Route plan:

17.07./18.07. Paris, Rmn-Grand Palais, La Villette, Centre Pompidou
28.07./29.07. Antwerp, Het Bos und Royal Academy of Fine Arts
02.08./03.08. Maastricht, Bonnefanten Museum
08.08./09.08. Amsterdam, Stedelijk Museum
16.08./17.08. Gelsenkirchen, Kunstmuseum Gelsenkirchen und Musiktheater im Revier
20.08./21.08. Duisburg, Wilhelm Lehmbruck Museum
25.08./26.08. Krefeld,  Kunstmuseen Krefeld
28.08./29.08. Düsseldorf, ZERO foundation
04.09. Koblenz, Ludwig Museum
08.09./09.09. Frankfurt, Frankfurter Kunstverein
14.09./15.09. Mannheim, Kunsthalle Mannheim
24.09./25.09. Basel, Museum Tinguely

Body Instruments
Body Instruments
Body Instruments
Body Instruments
Body Instruments
Body Instruments
Body Instruments

In the performance Body Instruments (2021), Nevin Aladağ continues her interest in instrumental interventions. A performer wears specially produced musical instruments on their body as they move through the urban realm. The instruments – two accordions, bells and a percussion instrument, which is worn on the head – are played as a result of the motion of the body. Even basic movements such as walking, turning the head or raising and lowering the arms produce musical sounds. Thus enhanced, the body itself becomes an instrument. And movement and the creation of sound become inseparable.

On the one hand, the work refers to such art-historical traditions as the modern avant-garde and Oskar Schlemmer’s Das Triadische Ballett (1919–1922), whose playful approach to geometrical forms in connection with dance and performance was first discovered by the artist in the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart during her time as a student. The references to performance in the 1970s are equally important. Certain aspects of Aladağ’s work, in particular the accordions, which fold out in a manner reminiscent of wings, and the rainmaker’s hat, which demands a sense of equilibrium and a mastery of the body, allude to Rebecca Horn’s body instruments (e.g. Weisser Körperfächer, Balancestab, both 1972). The questions addressed by Horn’s works vis-à-vis the relationship between bodies and movement and the potential of sculptural extensions to the body are followed up by Body Instruments, particularly in terms of sound.

Body Instruments owes its topicality and conciseness to the fact that Aladağ applies these art-historical approaches and formal languages, while simultaneously interweaving them with levels of historical and social meaning. For example, the work refers to the richly diverse tradition of making music in public, which stretches from the wearing of bells by medieval jesters and fairy tales involving ratcatchers, via sacred and profane processional customs to modern street music. And the figure of the busker also invokes questions of social status and of how society negotiates the use of the public realm. With its bells, accordions and two different forms of drum, the performance combines instruments drawn from a range of temporal and spatial contexts. The common factor shared by these instruments is that they are all found beyond the confines of western classical music. Played together, they thus create a piece of experimental music that achieves a balance between the essential sounds generated by actions such as walking and the more poetic ones that result from consciously chosen movements.

Body Instruments owes its topicality and conciseness to the fact that Aladağ applies these art-historical approaches and formal languages, while simultaneously interweaving them with levels of historical and social meaning. For example, the work refers to the richly diverse tradition of making music in public, which stretches from the wearing of bells by medieval jesters and fairy tales involving ratcatchers, via sacred and profane processional customs to modern street music. And the figure of the busker also invokes questions of social status and of how society negotiates the use of the public realm. With its bells, accordions and two different forms of drum, the performance combines instruments drawn from a range of temporal and spatial contexts. The common factor shared by these instruments is that they are all found beyond the confines of western classical music. Played together, they thus create a piece of experimental music that achieves a balance between the essential sounds generated by actions such as walking and the more poetic ones that result from consciously chosen movements.

(text by Sandra Beate Reimann)