Ari Benjamin Meyers:
An exposition, not an exhibition
Please note the following exhibition hours as the show will not be open outside these times:
Mar 11, Sat | 2–4pm (Opening Day)
Mar 16, Thur | 2–7pm
Mar 17, Fri | 2–7pm
Mar 18, Sat | 2–7pm
Mar 19, Sun | 2–7pm
Mar 22, Wed | 2–7pm (Art Basel Wednesday)
Mar 23, Thur | 10–3pm (South Island Cultural District Art Day)
Mar 24, Fri | 2–7pm
Mar 25, Sat | 2–7pm
Mar 26, Sun | 2–7pm
Mar 30, Thur | 2–7pm
Mar 31, Fri | 2–7pm
Apr 1, Sat | 2–7pm
Spring Workshop is delighted to present An exposition, not an exhibition by American composer and artist Ari Benjamin Meyers. The exhibition held between March 11–April 1 will take place in seven arts organizations across the city of Hong Kong.
In the first location, Spring Workshop, the Hong Kong New Music Ensemble (HKNME) and their entire repertoire consisting of well over one hundred works will be specially arranged by Meyers for display in an experimental setting. The work thus offers an encyclopedic overview of and reckoning with what is commonly thought of as “contemporary music.” At the other six arts organizations – M+, Asia Art Archive, Para Site, Hong Kong Arts Center, Things that can happen and soundpocket – Meyers has commissioned new musical compositions/interventions Hong Kong Solos that will be performed by staff members at their desks. Taken together, these events epitomize Meyers’ experimentation with dissolving the delineation between contemporary art and music.
The title An exposition, not an exhibition is a play on the two meanings of the word “exposition”: in French it means “exhibition,” whereas in musical terminology, it refers to the first section of a sonata, where themes are put forward for the first time before being developed further in the next section. This wordplay expresses Meyers’ interest in considering the problems that exist with how music is presented or put on display within the setting of a contemporary art space.
His new work shown at Spring, Litany and Rapture, features ensemble members of HKNME engaging in a demanding durational performance of their entire repertoire, which consists of international and local canonical works of contemporary music. By moving away from the predominant concert-mode of musical presentation and envisioning a non-goal-oriented musical space featuring a new kind of musical performer, the piece is a testing ground where Meyers overturns rules and protocols usually applied to presentation and appreciation of these works for both musician and audience alike.
Continuing to blur the inherent division between performers, audience and insitutions, his other new work, Hong Kong Solos, will take place at six non-profit art organizations. At Meyers’ invitation, six local Hong Kong composers have created new commissions in close collaboration with staff members at six arts organizations across the city. In order to experience these intimate pieces devised for one performer and 1-4 audience members, potential listeners are invited to book visits to these institutions. The work centers around the coming together of two usually disparate parties: a composer and an art professional, a (sometimes amateur) perfomer and a visitor, and the (otherwise disconnected) art and music communities in Hong Kong.
Ari Benjamin Meyers shared: “An exposition, not an exhibition is a program specifically created for Spring as an open research process. The show has a lot to do with the way one can collaboratively work here, how people and organisations from the local community can transcend boundaries to create cross-disciplinary meta-works. This is not necessarily typical in other places; it has a lot to do with the relationships and position of Spring Workshop within the local cultural landscape of Hong Kong. Using this as a springboard, An exposition, not an exhibition can experiment with how we break the old rules of music, music-making and its institutions and propose new ones.”
Spring Founder Mimi Brown says: “I have waited years for the right chance to mess with the rules of music. So I look forward with anticipation to the new vantage points on the topic that Ari’s program will put forward. We wanted especially to ground this conversation locally, and appreciate the opportunity to play with music in the company of six Hong Kong composers and our fellow local arts organizations. As 2017 will be our final year of the Spring Workshop initiative, it is poetic and meaningful to dedicate ourselves to test the ground for the founding of a new experimental art institution – the Kunsthalle for Music – and to do so once again both with our beloved local arts family and with our trusted partners at the Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art.”
By both working with an existing ensemble (HKNME) and its repertoire as material, as well as by commissioning new works, An exposition, not an exhibition is an invitation to collectively question the modes of production, definition and experience around music. Gathering an ensemble of performers and composers from across disciplines, Meyers imagines an open space for music that exists outside of recordings and staged environments, and finds welcoming landing pads within the tightknit network of the city’s art institutions.
An exposition, not an exhibition was developed during Ari Benjamin Meyers’ two residencies at Spring Workshop in the summer and fall of 2016, and stems from his ongoing research into the essence of live musical performance and the questions surrounding its protocols for audiences, performers and institutions. This presentation showcases the first iteration of research for the Kunsthalle for Music, and will be followed at Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art (Rotterdam) by a congress in May 2017 and the inaugural exhibition of the Kunsthalle for Music in January 2018.
Works by Ari Benjamin Meyers will include:
Hong Kong Solos
Composers, staff perfomers and venues include GayBird Leung x Michelle Wong at Asia Art Archive; Steve Hui x Samantha Kwok at Hong Kong Art Centre; Shane Aspegren x Tom Morgan at M+;
Vanissa Law x Olivia Chow at Para Site; Charles Kwong x Alice Wong at soundpocket;
Lam Lai x Chantal Wong at Things that can happen
Litany and Rapture
Hong Kong New Music Ensemble players include William Lane (viola), Euna Kim (violin), Selena Choi (violin), Angus Lee (flute and conductor), Leung Chi Shing (clarinet), Loo Sze Wang (sheng), Chiu Tan Ching (guzheng), Zhu Mu (cello), Leung Tak Wing (bassoon), Linda Yim (piano), Simon Hui (bass, sound engineer and guitar), Karina Yau (percussion), Mike Yip (electric guitar), among others.
Anthem brings together all the strands of the show, and will be performed during the opening and at other selected times when all ensemble members participating in An exposition, not an exhibition will come together to form a choir for the work. Additionally, this work will be enacted daily by the Spring Workshop staff. The text is taken from the opening line of the original Kunsthalle for Music’s manifesto: “Music is not…”
12.30pm – 2pm Press Luncheon
2pm – 4pm
An exposition, not an exhibition Opening
2pm – 7pm
Art Basel Hong Kong special opening hours
10am – 3pm
SICD Art Day x Art Basel Hong Kong program
11am – 12pm
Music and the Museum
A discussion between composers and artists Ari Benjamin Myers and Samson Young and Spring Workshop curator Christina Li, chaired by frieze magazine deputy editor Amy Sherlock.
Hong Kong Solos will be performed in artspaces across the city by appointment only. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for timings and registration. For other events, please RSVP at email@example.com listing the event title in the subject line.