LIGHT IMPULSE / Fondation Beyeler


L I G H T    I M P U L S E   / MIKHAIL RUDY plays SCRIABIN ‘s visionary last piano pieces in dialogue with the artworks by AROTIN & SERGHEI

– part of the cycle ART & INNOVATION at the exhibition “AROTIN & SERGHEI – Metamorphosis” –       2 May 2018 7pm, W&K Palais , Renngasse 4, Vienna

„Our White Point (2014-18) is a antipode to Malewitch’s Black Square which is for us an empty space in which evrything can happen, an absolute starting point for the creation of light“.

Almost simultaneously to Malevitch, Scriabin created a sort of first synthetic sound, a mystic hexachord, symbol of the genesis of the universe, and a notation system for light and colour. Both have been major inspiration source for the entire work of AROTIN & SERGHEI. The exhibition features several artworks in direct reference to these avantgarde creations: Carré Blanc, Genesis, White Point and Life Cells, the images of the cycle Sound Pulse, the video composition Light Impulse and the pages of the Prometheus Light Score from 1994, precursors for the installations that the duo realised for Ars Electronica and Fondation Beyeler in 2016.

The first cooperation of AROTIN & SERGHEI with the pianist MIKHAIL RUDY took place in the project Light Impulse (2015) – a video installation that creates a radarlike spatialisation concept of colour resonances with Scriabin’s Vers La Flamme, played by Mikhail Rudy. (first presentation: solo exhibition “AROTIN & SERGHEI – Light Impulse“, Espace Muraille Contemporary Art Gallery, Geneva 2015).

Alexander Arotin worked since 1994 on translation possibilties of Scriabin’s colour notation system. He constructed a light piano and created a light score that spatialises Scriabin’s Prometheus. Based on these experiences AROTIN & SERGHEI created in 2014 their first large scale realisation of this concept: White Point – a subliminal installation that resumes the phenomenon of creation and splitting of light, commissioned by Ars Electronica for Deep Space 8K Media Collection at Ars Electronica Center. The installation was shown with 8 projectors in 4K resolution and 2 channel sound, in a dimension of 18×16 m on wall and ground. The idea of the installtion is based on the smallest possible image that can be displayed, and starts with the “birth – pulse” of a single pixel. In order to make this tiny particle visible, the artists show it flashing and pulsing, with light and shadow phases and gradually enlarged, until it occupies the entire space of the viewer. One can observe the flow of pictograms that becomes visible on the retina, when the eyes are closed, until the memory is erased. In the exhibition this questionning of retinal memory of images is also a main subject in the painting cycles Blacklight (2011) and Truth Possibilities (2017).

As a commission of Festival “Radical Atoms – The Alchimists Of Our Time” / Ars Electronica 2016, the installation was extended into a 72m live installation, with electronic sounds (Alexander Arotin’s Electronic Preludes – homage to Scriabin), live visual animation by AROTIN & SERGHEI, and a live piano performance by MIKHAIL RUDY with Scriabin’s last piano works inside the sound and visual installation.

FONDATION BEYELER commissioned to the artists a new extention of the project, as a part of the exhibition “Kandinsky, Marc, Der Blaue Reiter” curated by Ulf Küster in 2016. AROTIN & SERGHEI then realized inside the Museum a threedimensional 48 m light installation on 3 walls based on their previous installations White Point and Infinite Screen, in the middle of which, MIKHAIL RUDY  and IAN PACE interpretated Scriabin’s  visionary Prometheus score on 2 pianos with a live animation of Scriabin’s “Light Piano” by AROTIN & SERGHEI (2016).

After a presentations of the project in Gstaad (2017), AROTIN & SERGHEI invited MIKHAIL RUDY to play Scriabin in dialogue with the 38 artworks of the exhibition AROTIN & SERGHEI Metamorphosis at W&K Palais Vienna – all developed from the idea of the impulse and splitting of light.

MIKHAIL RUDY is an artist of great creativity and charisma, whose virtuosity and poetic imagination have enthusiased audiences all over the world for 40 years. He was born in Russia and studied with illustrious pianist Jakov Flier, at the legendary Moscow Tchaikowsky Conservatory. He won First Prize in the Marguerite Long Competition in Paris in 1975 and shortly afterwards, during his first concert tour, was granted political asylum in France. Since his Western debut in Beethoven Triple Concerto with Rostropovich and Stern on the occasion of Marc Chagall’s 90th birthday, he has played with the most prestigious conductors, from Karajan to Maazel, Jansons to Tilson Thomas. Among Rudy’s many recordings are more than 30 works for the EMI Classics label, many of which have been awarded prizes. In a special issue of BBC Magazine, Mikhail Rudy was classed among the world’s 20 greatest pianists.

Rudy is passionately interested in artistic projects of all kinds and has explored various creative forms of concerts. His autobiographical Novel of a pianist, published in 2008, was widely acclaimed by both critics and concert-goers. In 2010 he made an animated film based on Kandinsky’s drawings for Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an exhibition (produced by Centre Pompidou Paris, in cooperation with the Phiharmonie de Paris, and now in the museum’s collection), which he has presented together with live interpretations in concert version at many prestigious cultural scenes, including the New York Guggenheim, the Bilbao Guggenheim, MOMA, Phiharmonie de Paris, Théâtre des Champs Elysées,  Musée des Beaux Arts Montreal, LACMA L.A.Puskin Museum /Festival Richter, Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Milan, London, Hong-Kong,…

In 2013, at the request of the Chagall family, Rudy created an animated film based on Chagall’s ceiling for the Paris Opera. In 2015 he co-curated the exhibition Marc Chagall : The Triumph of Music at the Paris Philharmonie. This exhibition is scheduled to travel to Montréal and Los Angeles in 2017. He has collaborated with artists from many different fields, including the famous multi-media artist Philippe Parreno, at Armory Park Av N.Y. and at Palais de Tokyo (curator Hans Ulrich Obrist), the cult film-makers The Quay Brothers, the legendary techno musician Jeff Mills, actors Robin Renucci and Denis Lavant and the jazz musician Norwegian Misha Alperin. His project based on Scriabin’s Prometheus, in collaboration with the Austrian visual artists, AROTIN & SERGHEI, was commissioned by the Beyeler Foundation was first presented in 2016. In 2017 Mikhail Rudy played at Venice Biennale in Xavier Deilhan’s installation at the French pavillon, a project that will be developed at Philharmonie de Paris in 2018. Actually Mikhail Rudy initiates a new pluridisciplinary festival in Giverny – emblematic place of the house and gardens of Claude Monet.

In dialogue with the exhibition AROTIN & SERGHEI Metamorphosis, Mikhail Rudy will perform the fascinating visionary late piano work of Scriabin (Guirlandes, Flammes Sombres, 5 Préludes, Verse La Flamme) proceeded by „La lugubre Gondola 2“ by Franz Liszt in alternation with Alexander Arotin’s Electronic Preludes – homage to Scriabin (2015).


Franz LISZT                    

– La lugubre Gondala 2 (1883)

Alexander AROTIN      

– Electronic Prelude in homage to Scriabin (2015)

Alexander SCRIABIN  

– Guirlandes & Flammes Sombres  op 73 (1914)

– 5 Préludes op 74 (1914)

  1. Douloureux, dechirant
  2. Très lent, contmplatif
  3. Allegro drammatico
  4. Lent, vague, indécis
  5. Fier, belliqueux

– Masque (from Poèmes) op. 63 (1912)

– Promethée – Le poème du feu (extract from the begin)  op 60 (1910)

– Verse La Flamme op 72 (1914)


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