The Simultanhalle, built in 1979 in the Cologne suburb of Volkhoven/Weiler, served until 1984 as a preliminary architectural design and test space during the construction of the Museum Ludwig in the center of Cologne. Experiences and findings on the model were directly transferred to the architecture of the museum but with the completion of the museum, the two spaces developed in opposite directions: While the Museum Ludwig advanced to become one of the most important art museums in Europe, the Simultanhalle, now in disrepair, developed into an autonomous off-space in the periphery that always placed an outside perspective on the art business.
Gleichzeitigkeiten by Felix Kindermann negotiates the physical as well as historical connection between Museum Ludwig and its former model the Simultanhalle and poses questions about their inherent relationship to each other. In times of physical separation and social dislocation, his installation interconnects both buildings via acoustic live-stream, questioning our human relationships in the liminal space between physical experience and digital representation. With Gleichzeitigkeiten (Simultaneities), the two spaces are directly connected and enter into a relationship with each other once again as a complex, whereby the museum itself becomes the object of reception at the Simultanhalle through the transmission.
As the current pandemic has made clear, we as humans are anything but independent, but connected through our bodies, voices, and social structures.
For his unique installation Felix Kindermann installs microphones in the iconic central stairwell of the Museum Ludwig transmitting the sounds of the room and the people in the museum, live into the Simultanhalle for three month during the entire duration of the SimultanProjekte 2021 of which the work is part of. In this way, the people in the museum as well as the architecture of the Museum Ludwig and the Simultanhalle become the material and medium of the artistic work. The microphones and the reproduction of the transmitted signal ensure that the transmitted sounds distort the sonic reality and merge into a texture that remains indeterminate in its origin.
As part of Museum Ludwig's acoustic spectrum, Kindermann's performance Choir Piece (2019-) is exhibited at Museum Ludwig on July 29, which will therefore be also digitally transmitted as acoustic live stream into the Simultanhalle, thus pointedly activating the installation Gleichzeitigkeiten. Felix Kindermann understands Choir Piece as a living sculpture, which consists of a 16-voice choir modeling itself endlessly in space and time. Therefore Kindermann commissioned New York composer Natalie Dietterich to write the Composition for Separated Musicians in 2018. Departing from Kindermann's concept of modularity, Dietterich's composition allows the 16 singers to move independently through the exhibition space, perceiving, reflecting, and endlessly reforming themselves as a shared body. In Choir Piece all singers have the same modular compositional material at their disposal. They are autonomous in their movement and in the temporal arrangement of the composition. Thus the composition is based on an aleatoric simultaneity of its components. The result is an acoustic structure in the field of tension between cohesion, individuality and distance, dependence and independence, which, based on the concept of sculpture, poses questions about belonging and identity in a currently increasingly fragmented society.
The productive simultaneity inherent in the composition is also transferred to the level of reception through the live transmission. Through this moment of simultaneous transmission from one space to the other, the dilemma of two possibilities opens up for visitors for the first time. They can experience the work live as a performance in the Museum Ludwig or, on the other hand, as a sound installation at the Simultanhalle. Gleichzeitigkeiten refers to the respective other location, since it is never possible for the recipients to perceive the entire work in both buildings at the same time. As viewers of the microphones, visitors to the museum inevitably contribute to the sound transmission through their acoustic presence in the space. Or they become observers of an acoustic space within a space when they hear the sound of the Museum Ludwig in the Simultanhalle. Since the Simultanhalle is in disrepair and currently closed, the singing on the loudspeakers enlivens the interior of the Simultanhalle, while for the visitors it is transported to the outside via the thin walls as a membrane, thus picking up on the simultaneous but opposing development of both places.
Curated by Lisa Oord, Leon Jankowiak, Nina Benning