The exhibition Florian Hecker: Formulations at the MMK 3 of the MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst
Frankfurt am Main is a collaboration with the European Central Bank (EZB) and the Deutsche Bundesbank. The exhibition is taking place as part of the European Central Banks 2016 European Cultural Days.
In recent years, Florian Hecker (b. 1975) has created a unique uvre that has received international recognition in the form of numerous exhibitions, performances and concerts. In his work, Hecker consistently forms connections between the realms of visual art, music and performance, breaking established boundaries and opening up new forms of expression and means of perception. He is thus very well-suited to the MMK programme, which pursues a transmedia approach, comments MMK director Susanne Gaensheimer.
The exhibition at the MMK 3 presents fifteen extant works and two new ones executed between 2004 and 2016. In the main gallery of the MMK 3, the artist has arranged sixteen works tailored to this specific space. Following meticulously planned choreographies, they will be enacted over the course of each exhibition day. The work Modulator (2012) is on view in a room built into the ground floor.
The artist makes use of synthesized sounds generated with the aid of digital and electro-acoustic signal processing. Compositional developments of the post-war modern era and knowledge of audiology and psychoacoustics serve him as points of departure for an uvre that unites the abstract and the material. The modular loudspeaker system is a sculptural intervention in the exhibition space and at the same time a functional playback apparatus. The loudspeakers are present as material elements and deliberately positioned by the artist within the architecture of the space.
Hecker orchestrates complex pieces as multichannel installations that encounter the visitors in the MMK 3 and offer them highly subjective spatial experiences. His multidimensionally staged compositions are characterized by stringent austerity. In them, visitors can discover first-hand the extent to which individual perception depends on the interplay between acoustic resonance, the sound object, and their own senses. The experience of active listening triggers mental and physical processes.
For the show at the MMK 3, Hecker has chosen to concentrate on a selection of works for which the concepts of synthesis, analysis and resynthesis are of key importance. Here sound is analysed, formalized, and subsequently reproduced on the basis of its qualitative and quantitative properties. This results in reproductions of complete works or synthetic replicas of isolated sound characters from which the artist composes his pieces. Synthetic Hinge, produced especially for the exhibition at the MMK 3, not only makes use of computer-generated sound, but also transforms the narrators voices into avatars. Another new work, Modulator (Scattering Transform) (2016), carries out this procedure in a fourteen-stage resynthesis of the existing work Modulator (2012), thus virtually multiplying our understanding of the concept of timbre.
In addition to the processing of sound in the interest of changing perception, another core theme of Heckers work is the psychophysical dimension the manner in which we perceive sound sensorily and process it neurologically. The perception of acoustic works is subjective and dependent on the recipients position in space, his acoustic as well as the visual perspective, personal inclinations, attentiveness, and points of reference that trigger individual associations, explains exhibition curator Anna Goetz.
Many of Heckers more recent works are composed in triple symmetries, for example 2x3 Channel (2009), Affordance (2013) and Hecker Leckey Sound Voice Chimera (2011). With these pieces Hecker deliberately confronts the recipient with three sound sources that are not only spatially staggered but also different from one another in terms of content. This animates the recipient to move through the room and remember what he has already heard, as it is only in its simultaneity that the work can be grasped in its entirety
In his installations, performances and published recordings, Florian Hecker dedicates himself to exploring the boundaries and possibilities of the production and reception of sound. Within the context of the reception of contemporary art, he challenges expectations and habits of perception by dramatizing, abstracting, distorting and reformulating questions revolving around performance, conceptual art and sculpture with his artificial sound objects.
Frankfurts significant role in techno culture and the electronic music scene makes it the ideal backdrop for Florian Heckers work. Already back in 2010, Hecker developed Event, Stream, Object for the exhibition Radical Conceptual at the MMK 1. That piece was subsequently purchased for the collection.