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Exhibitions > Loops

Curator: Yael Taragan
Exhibition Design: Lee Mendelsberg

Freshwest (Moooi) \ Tord Boontje (Artecnic) \ Peter Marigold \ Talila Abraham \ Jessica Smith (Studio Printworks) \ Ingo Maurer \ Marti Guixé (Drug) \ Raw Edges Design Studio \ Koby Levy \ Yaacov Kaufman \ Daniella Saraya \ Lea Gottlieb (Gottex) \ Issey Miyake + Reality Lab (Artemide) \ Mika Orstav

In 1963, the avant-garde American composer John Cage performed a musical piece for piano by the French composer Erik Satie, titled Vexations. This composition, which was written in the late 19th century, had never before been fully performed at a live concert. The reason must have been the recommendation appearing at the top of the sheet music to repeat the piece hundreds of times: "In order to play the theme 840 times in succession, it would be advisable to prepare oneself beforehand, in the deepest silence, by serious immobilities." The duration of the concert, which was performed by a group of alternating musicians, was 18 hours and 40 minutes. When it ended, the sole remaining audience member supposedly cried out: "Encore!"

Vexations dialogues with a musical movement known as "repetitive music." For hundreds of years, repetition in classical Western music served to advance and underscore a certain theme, and was thus characterized which ,״ by a clear direction and purpose. By contrast, in "repetitive music developed following the West's exposure to Eastern philosophies, repetition invites suspension in time rather than marking a forward movement or a series of climaxes and anti-climaxes. If we imagine the performance of the same short theme over and over again, we will likely imagine an endless repetitive movement whose power lies in its very coming into being, like a mantra repeated out loud.

These objects from the museum collection all represent various types of repetition due to their formal, structural, and material characteristics. In some cases, repetition plays a clear structural role, as independent units come together to form a whole. In other cases, the repetition is given expression by means of a replicated image or pattern, a uniform expanse that nevertheless contains unique details. Other objects are characterized by gentle rhythms that move in an endless, circular motion, while yet others are composed of replicated segments that accumulate one upon another in a recurrent loop, like those characteristic of contemporary popular music.

Photo: Shay Ben-Efraim

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