Rhythmic and figurative patterns which repeat and chase each other, almost ad infinitum – when music and painting meet mathematics.
The technique of phase shifting, a timely intuition of Steve Reich in the 1960s, encounters the artistic research of Richter and his Patterns at the Auditorium. Sound and image end up travelling in unison.
You sit in the stalls and wait for dark and silence to descend in the auditorium, and immediately hear the echo of reverberation, the linear repetition of the notes and their displacement. The rhythmic displacement of two identical musical cells moving at different speeds and gradually changing induces a contradictory sensation, a strange sense of becoming.
You focus on this mathematically determined structure, applied as much to Reich’s melodies as to Richter’s colours. The painter divides, mirrors and segments one of his abstract paintings into lines and figures that come alive to Reich’s notes which, he confesses, inspired him to create his Patterns.
Horizontal lines that travel, becoming vertical; bright colours and textures that seem to melt and recompose into moving tapestries. The scientific nature of Moving Picture seems almost a natural derivation of the work Richter does in his Atlas: a precise and mathematical analysis, reflecting a desire to meticulously probe reality in order to catalogue it. And so science, mathematics, sound and image coexist.
But as the melody walks, runs, echoes through the body, the images appear hypnotic. This is a visual algorithm – destabilising, sometimes boring – that does not want to be merely a visual translation of the score.
The pianos provide a rhythmic backing to the melody of the woodwinds, strings and vibraphones in Eight lines. Eight melodic-rhythmic lines divided into five sections: the pauses of one are filled by the sounds of the other, and everything flows in a rhythmic continuum.
And you are lost in this flow of colours, figures and sounds.
And you let yourself be carried away by the continuous process.
Texts and videos narrating each show are the outcome of an active relationship which has been established with the spectators, in search of the identity of the “emancipated spectator”. The students of the Academy who created the project built a relationship with some of the spectators chosen from those present at the events, using post and email. They later created a translation of the show which took the form of words and images suggested by the spectators.
Who is the “emancipated spectator”?
According to Jacques Rancière, you are. It is us who, with “stories and performances, can help change something in the world we live in”. Text and videos of this article were realised on occasion of the concert S. Reich / G. Richter / Ensemble Intercontemporain performed at Auditorium Parco della Musica on November 21st 2021, within Romaeuropa Festival and as part of AUDIENCE ON STAGE, fourth edition of BACKSTAGE / ONSTAGE ‘, a multimedia editorial project realised in a partnership between the Rome Fine Art Academy, Romaeuropa Festival and Arshake.
For the 2021 edition, BACKSTAGE / ONSTAGE, has moved its focus to concentrate on the spectators of the Romaeuropa Festival, their behaviour and way of relating to the performances, their interest and the effect that this produces. The survey was carried out transversally, covering the different performance genres at the festival, from dance to drama and music. AUDIENCE ON STAGE examined the entrances, lobbies and corridors of theatres, stalls, boxes, mobile phones and online event screens, searching for the gaze of the so-called emancipated spectator, i.e. he or she who finds a new kind of contact and closeness with others in the theatre, but also discovers a new connection with their own active existence.
Backstage / Onstage: the project is realised with a partnership between the Rome Fine Arts Academy, Romaeuropa Festival and Arshake
Credits 2021- AUDIENCE ON STAGE: Video: Walter Maiorino, Eleonora Mattozzi, Alessia Muti, Francesca Paganelli; Eleonora Scarponi. Testi: Chiara Amici, Domiziana Febbi, Alessandra Gabriele, Martina Macchia, Alessia Mutti.