press release

From 14 November through to 12 December 2010, the Foundation for Visual Arts Middelburg (Stichting Beeldende Kunst Middelburg) presents a new project by the German artist Olaf Nicolai, related to the specific space of De Vleeshal: (Innere Stimme) is based on “Humoreske” Opus 20 for piano by Robert Schumann composed in 1839.

Composed in 1839, the exponent of Romanticism added a staff between the treble and bass staves in one part of the piece, which he named Innere Stimme (“Inner Voice”). Since this composition is written for unaccompanied piano, this middle staff cannot be sung, but the melody will influence the interpretation of the piece. The audience of the music, unable to see the score, can only imagine the influence of the “Innere Stimme”. Using this extreme work of the romantic composer, Olaf Nicolai will address the conceptual level of the music with a continuous performance of the hidden notes in the exhibition space. With the show, the mental dimension of Schumann’s music is transposed and unveiled in the gothic hall of De Vleeshal. 
Olaf Nicolai has designed a poster of the “Innere Stimme” element of the score as part of the exhibition, which is free in distribution. Also in occasion of the exhibition is the presentation of a publication with an accompanying text by Jean-Luc Nancy, produced by Roma Publications.
A first version of this project was organized in October 2010 as a 30-hour performance forSOUNDFAIR in Berlin at Galerie Veneclasen/ Werner.
At De Vleeshal, (Innere Stimme) will be exhibited for the first time in an institutional context. Nicolai’s conceptual approach, which he translates into strong aesthetic forms with the use of diverse media, questions the way in which we view our everyday environment. His sources often analyze historical, social or scientific conditions, which he elaborates in aesthetic situations that create new perspectives and significance.
Olaf Nicolai (1962) lives and works in Berlin. His work has been exhibited in numerous solo and group exhibitions around the world since the early 1990s including Documenta X (1997) and the Venice Biennale in 2001 and in 2005. International solo exhibitions include: Kestnergesellschaft, Hannover, Casino Luxembourg, migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst in Zürich, Watari-Um Museum Tokyo, Museum of Modern Art, New York, Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary, Vienna. Recently the Museum Boymans van Beuningen acquired Nicolai’s work Apollo. 
Olaf Nicolai is represented by Eigen & Art, Berlin.

only in german

Olaf Nicolai - Innere Stimme
Kurator: Lorenzo Benedetti