Egill Sæbjörnsson & Marcia Moraes

Nationalgalerie im Hamburger Bahnhof
Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin | Aktionsraum

What Got You Here, Won’t Get You There
Performance | Installation (2011) WP

Egill Sæbjörnsson, Marcia Moraes – Künstlerische Leitung
Egill Sæbjörnsson – Videos, Gesang, Gitarre
Áki Ásgeirsson, Egill Sæbjörnsson, Magnús Jensson – Komposition
Áki Ásgeirsson, Egill Sæbjörnsson – Arrangements

Ensemble Adapter
Kristjana Helgadóttir – Flöten, Marc Tritschler – Klavier, Keyboards, Matthias Engler – Perkussion, Steinunn Arnardóttir, Leópold Kristjánsson – Soundeffekte

The Icelandic artist and musician Egill Sæbjörnsson combines elements of installation and performance, video and live music in his works. In complex, poetically narrative spatial installations, he actively becomes part of the situation, often together with other artists. Animation, video projection, live music, sound, drawings and the use of everyday objects coalesce in multilayered stories, with Sæbjörnsson showing an affinity for the absurd as he interweaves the various levels of reality. Using projection, he brings to life objects such as stones, glass bottles, small wooden blocks, handbags and plastic buckets, which become actors in his tableaus: »I have been interested in seeing things as ‘beings’ for a long time«, he notes.

Music and sound are an integral component of Egill Sæbjörnsson’s work. In his installations and performances he playfully questions the relationship between notation, instrument, musician and sound. So the spatial installations can function as visual notations and silent objects can mutate by means of animation and playback into instruments. The musicians become elements of a moving image and it is not always possible for the audience to distinguish whether they are hearing recorded sound or sounds being generated live at the moment.

In “What Got You Here, Won’t Get You There” the artist, in collaboration with the Brazilian actor and director Marcia Moraes, focuses on this aspect of his work, exploring it in an multidimensional performance | installation. In a three-part theatrical space, pseudo-instruments, musicians and various props and objects come onstage and are integrated into a visual and acoustic dramaturgy. Scenes and sounds unfold according to principles of metamorphosis and synchronicity in the three projection spaces, developing an idiosyncratic merry magic.

The performance | installation is being created for the Works of Music by Visual Artists series, which Freunde Guter Musik Berlin e.V. has produced in collaboration with the Nationalgalerie Berlin since 1999 and, since 2002, with MaerzMusik – Festival of Contemporary Music of the Berliner Festspiele.

Ingrid Buschmann, Gabriele Knapstein

Commissioned and produced by Freunde Guter Musik Berlin e.V. in collaboration with MaerzMusik | Berliner Festspiele and Nationalgalerie im Hamburger Bahnhof, Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin. Funded by Initiative Neue Musik Berlin e.V. Supported by Geier-Tronic Videotechnik. With thanks to i8 Gallery, Reykjavik.

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