Haben Sie “Modern” gesagt?



By Issho Ni Ensemble

With Ensemble Modern

Production Frankfurter Positionen, Künstlerhaus Mousonturm and Ensemble Modern, in Coproduktion with the Ruhrtriennale - for the Frankfurter Positionen 2017, an Initiative from BHF-Bank-Stiftung.
Produced at Frankfurt LAB. With the friendly support from Adolf and Luisa Haeuser-Foundation.

Issho Ni Ensemble wishes to thank: Deutsche Akademie Villa Massimo Rome; Julia Trolp; Maria Vittoria Tonietti; Ibrahim Da Enrico, …




The name Ensemble Modern itself explicitly reminds us of the historical simultaneity between the form of the music ensemble and the project of modernity in music. Derived from the model of the symphonic orchestra established during the 19th century, modern music ensembles find their initial destination in the concert, understood as the most adequate public mode of musical experience. While the orchestra usually implies the division between soli and tutti, the ensemble is meant to undo such a traditional hierarchy. Nevertheless, its choice of instruments implicitly follows the orchestral model, maintaining the prerequisite of musical virtuosity inherent to the role of orchestral soloists. Despite being challenged by various artists intermittently since the 20th century, the concert has remained the prevailing format to present and experience music in public. Haben Sie “Modern” gesagt? explores various possibilities offered by another mode of artistic presentation: that of the exhibition. What it seeks to exhibit is not only music but the Ensemble Modern itself. Visitors are therefore invited to experience a series of situations where the human, instrumental and technological dimensions that are necessary to the everyday life of a contemporary music ensemble are brought together and activated anew. It wishes to address the following questions, among others: what is “Modern” in the life of the Ensemble Modern? What does “Ensemble” mean in its working activities? What set of practices do such words imply? How can professional specialization and artistic experimentation be compatible? Is production a means or an end? When does art making look more for emancipation than for profit? How can artistic gestures remain public sites of experience? How can they allow for shared questions to be raised and discussed?



Since 2016 the Issho Ni Ensemble brings together, in variable configuration, artists and scholars engaged in long-term research, aiming to explore the relationship between gesture and rhythm conceived as a structuring issue in the history and artistic experience of human societies. Calling into question certain separations established between artistic, scientific and clinical fields, its members wish to rethink the policies of their respective practices, where their issues converge and allow an unprecedented pooling of their means. On the occasion of the commission of the Festival Frankfurter Positionen 2017, three members of this assembly will cooperate with the Ensemble Modern: Xavier Le Roy, Tiziano Manca and Christophe Wavelet. Engaged in practices where the name of art is understood as an experimental and discursive approach, their collaboration in the context of the Issho Ni Ensemble was born out of converging affinities and challenges. It allows them to activate a procedure in which their respective practices and capabilities are shared throughout every step of the working process. Unlike an accepted scheme of contemporary production, where the claimed trans-disciplinarity actually complies with the old principle of a strict division of specialized competence, they aim to start from the very issue at the heart of their practices: the solidarity of gesture and rhythm and the questions it raises in exhibition performance.

Festival Frankfurter Positionen - Lab Frankurt, Allemagne