The starting point of Ari Benjamin Meyers’s polyphonic work is always his training as a musician and composer. He is interested in the borders of musical creation, dance and spaces more traditionally dedicated to the presentation of visual artworks. In fact, although time might be devoted to concerts or performances at any exhibition of his, the instruments, the scores and the recording equipment will all have their places in installations that operate at different speeds and in multiple styles. The work of art, like a musical score deconstructed in order to multiply the narratives, can take the form of a scene, a concert, an opera or a choreography. For the Biennale de Lyon , the artist has designed two works based on the commitment and mechanisms involved in listening when the tangible physicality of space has vanished: an absolute must in the case of the first creation, a searing critique of the music industry for the second.
The Art, 2016
Works by artist, musician and composer Ari Benjamin Meyers explore the structures and processes that define the social and ephemeral nature of music. At the Sucrière, Ari Benjamin Meyers creates an ephemeral rock group, The Art, selected from a casting organised for the Biennale, involving students at art schools across the Lyon region (musicians and non-musicians alike). Ari Benjamin Meyers establishes a musical base around which the group improvises, opening the performance to chance and free interpretation. The group evolves throughout the exhibition, from its formation to its break-up, announced on the final day of the Biennale. Benjamin Meyers seeks to blur the boundaries between art and music, rehearsal and performance, industry and entertainment, to the extent of creating a complete “brand identity” for the group, in fanzines, T-shirts and posters.
The Art will (most likely) play every weekend. Last performance on 7 Jan. 2017 at 5.30pm.
With backing from the ENSBA – Lyon and ESAD - Valence
Elevator Music (LYON), 2017
In the elevator at macLYON – that inevitable feature of any visit – Ari Benjamin Meyers presents Elevator Music, composed and recorded in situ with violinist Ayumi Paul. The score is influenced by the floors the elevator visits, and the numbers of visitors on board. This ubiquitous “space between” becomes a place for reflection and the making of new work of art. Elevator Music plays on the banality and ennui of everyday life, and challenges our concepts of transition and transcience. The piece allows Ari Benjamin Meyers to focus our attention on everyday moments – like stepping into an elevator – by exploiting their performative aspect.