Freedom Is Around the Corner
Henning Christiansen (1932-2008) was a Danish composer, musician, and artist best known as a pivotal member of the Nordic avant-garde. Enamored with, but not beholden to, the Fluxus movement he helped shape, Christiansen’s simple conception of music as sound organized in time continues to provide a model for moving beyond the degree zero polemics of the ‘60s avant-garde. His radical oeuvre consists of over 200 opuses that interpenetrate the categories of performance, ritual, happenings, sculpture, painting, tape music, text-sound composition, song, and instrumental music, all marked by the perennial acuity of his green-painted ear. Occupying 55 Walker Street in Tribeca, from October 11th through November 2nd, the full retrospective of Christiansen’s visual work includes objects, works on paper, self-published magazines, and other materials made across the artist’s 50-year career. Going beyond a traditional exhibition, the experimental retrospective explores how Christiansen’s compositions and performance practices can be recontextualized within a contemporary framework, and features 5 nights of performances at 55 Walker by an international assembly of contemporary composers and musicians who deal with Christiansen’s legacy including Werner Durand, Mark Harwood, Ute Wassermann, Thorbjørn Reuter Christiansen, Lucy Railton, James Rushford, Stíne Janvin, Graham Lambkin, Áine O’Dwyer, Lau Nau, and Apartment House. The retrospective additionally includes a film screening, showcasing the work of Christiansen’s wife and collaborator, Ursula Reuter Christiansen, at Anthology Film Archives on October 13.