SCORES – Ari Benjamin Meyers

Ari Benjamin Meyers
Who’s Afraid of Sol La Ti?
(Invention I)

Daily activation of individual meta-scores by Wojtek Blecharz (composer) and Susanne Fröhlich (recorder) throughout the entire duration of the exhibition, and performance of the entire collection in the final concert.


In his exhibitions and compositions, Ari Benjamin Meyers explores structures that redefine the performative and immaterial side of music and examine the question of how music can be exhibited in the context of art.

With Who’s Afraid of Sol La Ti? (Invention I), he converts the exhibition space from a site of presentation to a space of production and reflection. Starting from a brief theme composed by Meyers, along with its various deconstructions (‘musical modules’) and the 15 so-called ‘meta-scores’ that Meyers has constructed from them, the composer Wojtek Blecharz develops new musical translations every day during the opening hours of the museum. These in turn are interpreted and rehearsed ad hoc by the musician Susanne Fröhlich on one of her ca. 50 recorders.

The mise-en-scène is arranged accordingly in the exhibition space: in the first room, all the musical modules of Meyers’ core theme are on view, together with the collection of recorders, while in the second area Blecharz and Fröhlich compose and perform, surrounded by projections of the daily ‘meta-scores’. The third room, lastly, presents the brief fundamental theme to which all subsequent compositions and interpretations can be traced back.

Echoing Sol LeWitt’s Instruction Pieces the process of composing and rehearsing is repeated and extinguished every day in an almost Sisyphean manner, whereby the piece that is to be memorized gets longer from day to day. There are no recordings or videos of the daily compositions and the finale at the end of the exhibition is also not a concert in the classical sense. The approximately 60-minute performance nonetheless constitutes the highpoint of the compositional process illustrated here, before the result completely vanishes and lives on only in memory.

Ari Benjamin Meyers, Who’s Afraid of Sol La Ti? (Invention I)
Exhibition view “Scores”, Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin 2016
Photo: Thomas Bruns, © Courtesy of the artist and Esther Schipper

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