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Guggenheim Commissions Two New Works to be Shown in Conjunction with Kandinsky Exhibition
Installation view: Rafael Lozano Hemmer, Levels of Nothingness, 2009. Photo courtesy Rafael Lozano Hemmer.
NEW YORk, NY.- Works & Process, the performing arts program at the Guggenheim, celebrates its 25th anniversary along with the 50th Anniversary of the Guggenheim Museum in two newly commissioned works, offered in conjunction with the full-scale retrospective Kandinsky presented at the Guggenheim from September 18, 2009 to January 13, 2010.

Rafael Lozano-Hemmer’s Levels of Nothingness
Levels of Nothingness, an interactive light and sound piece by artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer (b. 1967, Mexico City), will premiere on the occasion of the Guggenheim International Gala, a private fundraising event, on Wednesday, September 16, with four additional public performances on Thursday, September 17 and Saturday, September 19 through Monday, September 21 at 7:30 pm in the Guggenheim’s Peter B. Lewis Theater.

Levels of Nothingness is inspired by Vasily Kandinsky’s explorations of synesthesia, most notably in Der gelbe Klang (Yellow Sound, 1912), a composition in which he proposes linking the senses using levels of abstraction. Lozano-Hemmer employs a computerized microphone to analyze live voice in real time and extract physical and linguistic data that, in turn, controls a full rig of rock-and-roll concert lights, creating a quiet color show that surrounds the theater. Isabella Rossellini will first activate the installation as she reads from seminal philosophical texts on skepticism, perception, and color, including Francisco Sanches's treatise That Nothing Is Known (1581) and writings by Kandinsky, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, and Ludwig Wittgenstein, among others. Following the performance, the audience will be invited to test the color-generating microphone. Public engagement is central to Lozano-Hemmer’s practice, and his often large-scale interactive installations have been included in international exhibitions and projects such as the 52nd International Art Exhibition of the Venice Biennale in 2007, as the first artist to officially represent Mexico; Pulse Park at Madison Square Park in New York in 2008; and the upcoming 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver.

The Blue Rider In Performance
Coproduced with Miller Theatre at Columbia University

Kandinsky’s seminal Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider Almanac) of 1912 brought together art, music, and writing from avant-garde movements across Europe, capturing a short-lived moment of international experimentalism that was abruptly halted by the outbreak of World War I. Drawing upon The Blue Rider Almanac, this production explores the dynamic interaction of music, light, and visual imagery rooted in Kandinsky’s connections to artists in Russia and Germany. Pianist Sarah Rothenberg and soprano Susan Narucki perform music from the era, accompanied by light projections. The Brentano String Quartet will perform Schoenberg’s groundbreaking Second String Quartet, a movement of which will be brought to life in a new commission by Armitage Gone! Dance. Performances will be at the Miller Theater of Columbia University on Wednesday, September 23 and Friday, September 25 at 8 pm.



Guggenheim | Kandinsky | Rafael Lozano-Hemmer | Mexico City | New York |


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