Marian Zazeela, Drawings
The Well-Tuned Piano in The Magenta Lights DVD Installation
Kunst im Regenbogenstadl, Polling, Bavaria, Germany
Opens Saturday, May 5, 2007, 6 pm
Kunst im Regenbogenstadl reopens for the 2007 season on Saturday, May 5, with a selected exhibition of Marian Zazeela Drawings in a newly renovated gallery dedicated to her graphic work, which will be presented in revolving exhibitions for the next three years. For 2007, Zazeela’s Words & Letters Group is displayed with examples of her drawings of this genre from the '60s and '70s.
At 6:00 pm on May 5, Uli Schaegger, Director of Kunst im Regenbogenstadl, will present Symmetry from (A)ntique to (Z)azeela, a discussion of the visual and musical Cosmos of the Work of Marian Zazeela and La Monte Young, followed by a reception. Zazeela has written about these drawings:
"The Words & Letters Group derives from genres comprising (1) letters and words; (2) abstract calligraphy through symmetry; (3) ornament; (5) symmetry; (6) elemental form (lines, cross); (7) repeated forms; (8) pattern through symmetry; (9) centering; (10) balance. These works led to my Neon sculptures and the video projections from Quadrilateral Phase Angle Traversals, through a direct translation of drawings from the Portraits series in which I present proper names, place names or other words, drawn with their bilaterally symmetrical, retrograde and mirror-inverted images so that the abstract form of the written word may be viewed independently from its more literal meaning. This process allows the visual content of the works to be considered both apart from, and along with, the significance of the word."
In addition to the Drawings exhibition, two video presentations will be presented weekly on Saturdays and Sundays. The video installation of La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela with The Just Alap Raga Ensemble, performing a composition by La Monte Young, Raga Sundara, an ektal vilampit khayal set in the Northern Indian classical Raga Yaman Kalyan, will be presented every Saturday at 3 pm. This Evening Raga Concert in the contemporary Kirana Style of North Indian Classical Music was recorded live in the MELA Foundation Church Street Dream House on February 5, 2005 in a memorial tribute honoring Pandit Pran Nath’s Guru, Ustad Abdul Wahid Khan Sahib, the greatest master of the Kirana gharana during his lifetime.
Raga Sundara was composed by La Monte Young under a commission from the Individual Artists Program of the New York State Council on the Arts. The Just Alap Raga Ensemble includes La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela, voices, accompanied by Jung Hee Choi and Da'ud Constant, voices, Charles Curtis, cello, Naren Budhkar, tabla, and The Tamburas of Pandit Pran Nath performed by La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela on the pre-recorded Just Dreams CD.
The DVD installation of The Well-Tuned Piano in The Magenta Lights (87 V 10 6:43:00 PM - 87 V 11 01:07:45 AM NYC) by La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela continues for the seventh year on Sundays, from 1 - 7:30 pm. The two video installations at Regenbogenstadl are set in the site-specific light environment, Magenta Day / Magenta Night, created by Zazeela. The exhibition includes two sculptures from Zazeela’s Still Light series, her neon sculpture, Dream House Variation III, and a work for video projection, S symmetry V. 1 from Quadrilateral Phase Angle Traversals. Admission to the videos is 4 Euros; children and students, free. The installations will continue through October 2007 and by special appointment at Kunst im Regenbogenstadl, Georg-Rueckert-Strasse 1, 82398 Polling bei Weilheim, Germany, Telephone +49 881 417 718, Fax +49 881 417 719; www.regenbogenstadl.de; email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Well-Tuned Piano has been acclaimed as "one of the great monuments of modern culture" (Los Angeles Herald Examiner, 1987) and "the most important piano music composed by an American since the Concord Sonata" (Chicago Reader, 1987) and “the king of all just-intonation piano recordings” (Pulse!, 2001). Art Forum (1981) described The Magenta Lights as “an environmental piece in every sense of the word. What Zazeela has represented is the subtle relationship between precision and spirituality. [She] transforms material into pure and intense color sensations, and makes a perceptual encounter a spiritual experience."
The six-and-one-half hour continuous performance of the Young and Zazeela collaborative masterwork was videotaped on May 10, 1987 during the La Monte Young 30-Year Retrospective presented by MELA Foundation in New York City. It was first encoded to a single DVD-9 for its world premiere showing at La Beauté international exposition in Avignon as part of the French celebration of the Year 2000. This DVD installation at Avignon’s St. Joseph Church, shown daily and visited by more than 200,000 people during the four-month exhibition, was headlined by L’Express: “La Monte Young: Le Son du Siècle.” From March 10 to April 7, 2002, the Berliner Festspiele MaerzMusik presented an installation created in a site-specific light environment by Zazeela at the monumental landmark Staatsbank, with two full screenings of the DVD daily. From July through September 2003, the Italian premiere of the DVD installation The Well-Tuned Piano in The Magenta Lights (87 V 10 6:43:00 PM - 87 V 11 01:07:45 AM NYC) in a site-specific light environment of Zazeela’s Magenta Day / Magenta Night took place daily in the extraordinary 14th century medieval Castel Sant'Elmo, Naples, as part of the Morra Foundation 30-Year Retrospective Festival exhibition celebrating the Living Theatre / Labyrinths of the Imaginary.
Kunst im Regenbogenstadl will also present two concerts during this season. On Saturday, June 16 at 8 pm, a new choral work by Richard Spaeth, Unde Universum, will be performed. On Saturday, August 4 at 8 pm, Charles Curtis with The Theatre of Eternal Music String Ensemble will perform one of the Dreams from The Four Dreams of China, one of the most important works of La Monte Young’s oeuvre, followed by a Symposium with the performers on Sunday, August 5 at 10:30 am.
Kunst im Regenbogenstadl, founded in 1998 by Uli Schaegger and Heike Friedrich in a large, beautifully renovated barn, has been the site of several long-term exhibitions. In 2000, a major exhibition of Marian Zazeela Drawings was accompanied by the publication of a comprehensive catalog of her work, available from Kunst im Regenbogenstadl and the MELA Foundation Dream House. The hardcover book features 71 full-color reproductions of Zazeela's drawings spanning 1962 through 1991, with her written analysis. It includes essays on her work by Henry Flynt and Uli Schaegger, as well as photographs, biographical documentation and inventory of the exhibition. Among the reproductions are many of the original drawings for her posters, flyers and record covers of La Monte Young’s music, early abstract calligraphy, works from the Words & Letters Group, Portraits series, and Glyphs series. The catalog cover was printed with characteristic black-on-black calligraphy and drawing, in the style of Zazeela’s many graphite-on-black works. Published by Kunst im Regenbogenstadl in Germany in May 2000, the book is available in both German/English and French/English editions.
Before the renovation of the barn, a mural of a rainbow was found on the façade inspiring the name Regenbogenstadl, which translates as "Rainbow Barn." Legends tell that a pot of gold is buried at the end of the rainbow and Celtic gold coins were actually found buried in the vicinity of Polling. The monastery of Polling (one hour south of Munich) is 1250 years old and is noted for its historic church and annual classical music concert series in the restored Bibliotekssaal.
Marian Zazeela is one of the first contemporary artists to use light as a medium of expression. Over four decades Zazeela has exhibited a unique iconographic vision in media encompassing painting, calligraphic drawing, graphics, film, light projection, sculpture and environment. Expanding the traditional concepts of painting and sculpture while incorporating elements of both disciplines, she developed a new visual language in the medium of light by combining colored light mixtures with sculptural forms to create seemingly three-dimensional colored shadows in radiant vibrational fields. Light and scale are manipulated in such a way that the colored shadows, in their apparent corporeality, become indistinguishable from the sculptural forms, enveloping the viewer in the continual interplay of reality and illusion. Her work has taken the direction of performance in Ornamental Lightyears Tracery, sculpture in the series Still Light and neon works, environment in Dusk / Dawn Adaptation, Magenta Day / Magenta Night and her major work Light, and projection in Quadrilateral Phase Angle Traversals.
Imagic Light and The Magenta Lights are realizations of Light in which the inherent properties of colored light mixtures are used as a medium for the transfer of information concerning the position and relation of objects in space. Installations of Light consist of precisely positioned pairs of colored lights focused on symmetrically arrayed pairs of white aluminum mobile sculptures in different patterns created according to the structural properties of each environment, causing the projection of colored shadows on the ceiling or walls of a room. Each mobile reflects the color of that portion of the spectrum represented by the light source focused directly on it, while the colors of the shadows cast by each mobile appear as the complement of the projected color mixed with the color of the paired light source focused on the adjacent mobile, all tempered by the eye's adaptation to the overall color field.
As the mobiles turn in space, reacting to movement and temperature changes in the environment, their shadows continuously display the resultant forms created by the angles and the distances of the light sources to the mobiles. The overall pattern of shadows gradually shifts through many transformations, including, at times, the perfectly symmetrical alliance of all the component parts.
As artistic director of The Theatre of Eternal Music, Zazeela creates the visual components of Dream House, a sound and light work in which she collaborates with La Monte Young. Zazeela and Young have presented Dream Houses, light installations, performances and exhibitions throughout the United States and Europe, including 2005 Lyon Biennale, Tate Liverpool; La Beauté Avignon, MAC Lyon, Pompidou Center, Paris; Ruine der Künste, Berlin; 44th Venice Biennale; Galerie Hans Mayer, Düsseldorf; Dia Art Foundation, New York City; MELA Foundation's "La Monte Young 30-Year Retrospective," New York City; Köln Kunstverein; Documenta 5 Kassel; Galerie Heiner Friedrich Köln and München. On view in New York, the continuous environment Dream House: Seven+Eight Years of Sound and Light, maintained by MELA at its 275 Church Street exhibition space, is open to the public Thursdays and Saturdays, 2 pm - midnight, annually from Fall Equinox through Summer Solstice.
La Monte Young pioneered the concept of extended time durations for over 47 years, contributed extensively to the development of just intonation and rational number based tuning systems in his performance works and the periodic composite sound waveform environments of the Dream House collaborations with Marian Zazeela, and has had a wide-ranging influence on contemporary music, art and philosophy. "For the past quarter of a century he has been the most influential composer in America. Maybe in the world." (Los Angeles Herald Examiner, 1985). "As the acknowledged father of minimalism and guru emeritus to the British art-rock school, his influence is pervasive" (Musician magazine, 1986). “Young is now widely recognized as the originator of the most influential classical music style of the final third of the twentieth century.” (Strickland, Minimalism:Origins, 1993).
In L.A. in the '50s, Young played jazz saxophone, leading a group with Billy Higgins, Dennis Budimir and Don Cherry. He also played with Eric Dolphy, Ornette Coleman, Terry Jennings, Don Friedman and Tiger Echols. At Yoko Ono's studio in 1960 he was director of the first New York loft concert series. He was the editor of An Anthology (NY 1963), which with his Compositions 1960 became a primary influence on concept art and the Fluxus movement. In 1962 Young founded his group, The Theatre of Eternal Music, and embarked on The Tortoise, His Dreams and Journeys (1964- ), a large work involving improvisation within strict predetermined guidelines. Young played sopranino saxophone and sang with the group. Dennis Johnson, Terry Riley, Angus MacLise, Marian Zazeela, Tony Conrad, John Cale, Jon Gibson, David Rosenboom, Jon Hassell, and Lee Konitz are among those who worked in this group under Young's direction.