Polke x Blaudzun - Cobra Museum voor Moderne Kunst

Polke x Blaudzun

Saturday 14 Dec 2019 until Friday 15 Mar 2019

The Cobra Museum has asked singer and composer Blaudzun if he would like to undertake a search for “Music of an unknown source”, inspired by Sigmar Polke’s 1996 series Musik ungeklärter Herkunft.

The exhibition Polke vs Blaudzun, music of an unknown source, is on display starting December 14 and the new album by Blaudzun, Musik ungeklärter Herkunft (original soundtrack) will be on sale in the museumshop.

Sigmar Polke, Musik Ungeklärter Herkunft. 1996 © 2019 Pictoright Amsterdam

Sigmar Polke
The German painter Sigmar Polke (1941 – 2010) is one of the most influential artists of the 20th century. His capitalist-realistic artworks are an important moment in post-war German painting. Polke took the consumer and media world to the grain with his style. In addition to being a painter who constantly explored the limits of painting, he was an experimental photographer and filmmaker, graphic designer and chemist. The open and investigative attitude that Polke exhibited extends beyond his varied choice of images and materials. In his choice of subject, he also loosely combined images from old books with current magazines and advertisements from the consumers world.

In 1995, Polke was invited to make a series of paintings for the IFA Institut fur Auslandsbeziehungen. After an initial meeting with the artist, curator Götz Adriani was unable to get hold of Polke for weeks. When he was finally able to visit Polke’s studio in Cologne in December 1995, it turned out that the then 64-year-old artist had been working like crazy all that time. From a ‘fascinating abundance’, according to the surprised client, the selected a series of 40 pieces together. That was the ‘music of unknown origin’: Musik ungeklärter Herkunft (1996). The series of gouaches has travelled the world ever since and is now on show for the first time with a specially composed musical score by Blaudzun.

Blaudzun aan het werk in zijn studio aan Polke vs Blaudzun september 2019

Blaudzun has become the last ten years an established name in the Dutch and European music world. With various albums and tours he knows how to reach a large and diverse audience, with music that he composes, plays and produces. Blaudzun has a unique, confrontational voice that sometimes sounds oppressive, then again hopeful or combative. He is known for his diverse and experimental musical activities and collaborations. In addition, he has succeeded as artist within the music industry to remain independent. Once before, Blaudzun composed music in the visual arts (Wheatfield with mower by Vincent van Gogh) under the name HATY HATY, in collaboration with producer David Douglas.

Blaudzun door fotograaf Isolde Woudstra, geinspireerd op het werk Schwarz mit guten Errinerungen van Sigmar Polke

Polke vs Blaudzun. Music of an unknown source
The Sigmar Polke vs Blaudzun project: Music of an unknown source is a good example of how the Cobra Museum provides a new dynamic to existing modern visual art in the tradition of the Cobra movement (non-hierarchical and material-experimental). Blaudzun was given the freedom to start his search as a musical experiment. He chose 9 works that he provided with a musical soundtrack. Together the compositions form a “score” that is linked to 9 individual works, but that can also be heard and viewed as a gesamtkunstwerk. The recording period, at the end of the summer, brought him to studios in the Netherlands, Germany and the United States. In the museum you can listen to the music in a special 3D audio setup (11.1 surround). Blaudzun made the mix for this audio setup with Grammy-nominated Ronald Prent in the Valhalla Studios in New York.

Tentoonstellingspublicatie met kunst van Sigmar Polke, muziek op vinyl door Blaudzun en een essay van Sacha Bronwasser

Blaudzun Musik ungeklärter Herkunft (original Soundtrack): A catalogue with a vinyl: Image and sound brought together

Track Piroutte Fall (Musik ungeklärter Herkunft) can be heard on Spotify and Apple Music from 26 October. Use this link. The Cobra Museum of Modern Art, in collaboration with Octobre and the German label Glitterhouse, publishes Musik ungeklärter Herkunft (original Soundtrack), which is also the catalog for the Polke vs Blaudzun exhibition.

It will be released on December 13 on Spotify and Apple Music and is available exclusively on 12 ″ vinyl. Nine artworks from Sigmar Polke have been added as separate prints in the vinyl edition / exhibition catalog so that people can relive the project at home. Author and former Volkskrant art critic Sacha Bronwasser has written an essay for the publication. There are thirty signed artist editions with a photo of Blaudzun made by photographer Isolde Woudstra.

This catalog /album is exclusively available via the Cobra Museum shop or via blaudzun.com. The price is €30 for the regurlar limited edition (circulation of 620) and €75 for the Artist edition (circulation 0f 30).Buy it at our shop or order it online by sending a mail to verkoopfacturen@cobra-museum.nl subject: Polke vs Blaudzun publication. Give us your name, address, and telephone number. Shipment costs within Netherlands: €8,50