11 Sep 2017


Hendrik Folkerts
Keeping Score. Notation, embodiment and liveness

Taking the groundbreaking work of Giuseppe Chiari as a point of departure, Hendrik Folkerts will speak about the notion of the score. The score, as a musical but also as a visual apparatus, preconditions a specific relationship between language, time and space, in the way that it designs and premeditates all three. Through the work of such composers as Giuseppe Chiari, John Cage, Cornelius Cardew, Pauline Oliveros and Jani Christou, the manner and language in which a musical score designed the space and time of their compositions changed radically, while such artists as Katalin Ladik, Geta Bratescu and Yoko Ono introduced the score as an essentially embodied mechanism. Folkerts will discuss examples from these musical and artistic practices of the 20th century and the way they have sought to alter the linguistic, spatial and temporal coordinates of how a score functions.

"To approach a definition: the score is a notational device that connects the material of a discipline – ranging from music, dance, and performance to architecture, linguistics, mathematics, physics – and its systems of knowledge to a language that produces description, transmission, and signification, in order to be read, enacted, or executed in whatever form desireable. The past decade has seen a growing interest in the subject of the score within contemporary art and performance. How does it produce meaning? What is the relationship between the score in music and forms of notation specific to visual art? What does the score represent? In what ways can it enact the live moment, and may the chronology traditionally embedded in that relationship be reversed, with the score preceding a moment of liveness?”

With these sentences Hendrik Folkerts introduces his text of the same name in the seventh issue of the magazine South as a State of Mind, which accompanies the documenta 14.

Hendrik Folkerts, recently appointed the new Dittmer Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Art Institute of Chicago, was curator at documenta 14 (Athens, April 8 – July 16 / Kassel, June 10 – September 17, 2017) from 2014 until 2017. With a focus on performance and Conceptual Art, indigenous practices and Southeast Asian art, he curated a larger number of new artist commissions and together with the team led by artistic director Adam Szymczyk, was responsible for the exhibition in Athens and Kassel. Prior to this, Folkerts was Curator of Performance, Film, and Discursive Programs at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam (2010 until 2015). He studied art history at the University of Amsterdam, specializing in contemporary art and theory, feminist practices, and performance. From 2009 to 2011, Folkerts was coordinator of the Curatorial Program at de Appel Arts Centre in Amsterdam. His texts have been published in journals and magazines such as Artforum International, South as a State of Mind, Mousse Magazine, The Exhibitionist, Metropolis M, Art & the Public Sphere and in various catalogues. Folkerts is coeditor of The Shadowfiles #3: Curatorial Education (2013), Facing Forward: Art & Theory from a Future Perspective (2014) and the journal Stedelijk Studies #3: The Place of Performance (2015).

We are very happy that Hendrik Folkerts, in front of the open scores of Giuseppe Chiari (All Music is the same - Works from the Block Collection, exhibition running until October 20) will present his considerations on the score as a Denkraum (thought-space), on the relationship of seeing and hearing, types of reading and making, score and performance/body, as well as their temporalities.