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Musica Viva Spreads

2016
Quilts, 9 unique pieces
Ca. 120 x 160 cm each
Photo: Renato Ghiazza

  Musica Viva Spreads  consists of nine quilts. Their design is based on nine double-page spreads from the first issue of the magazine "Musica Viva", a music journal that the German conductor and pioneer of avant-garde music Hermann Scherchen (Berlin 1891 – Florence 1966) founded in Brussels in 1936.  "Musica Viva" was the product of a larger editorial project called "Ars Viva", intended to create an alternative platform and support system for new music that could not prosper in Nazi Germany, which Scherchen left in sign of protest in 1933. With every article printed in four languages (English, French, German, and Italian) Musica Viva’s internationalism was present on every page. “The language question is obliterated in the whole world of culture,” read a review at the time, “and the revue may be appreciated by all.” However, this utopian impulse made the journal expensive to produce and it lasted for only three issues.

Musica Viva Spreads consists of nine quilts. Their design is based on nine double-page spreads from the first issue of the magazine "Musica Viva", a music journal that the German conductor and pioneer of avant-garde music Hermann Scherchen (Berlin 1891 – Florence 1966) founded in Brussels in 1936.

"Musica Viva" was the product of a larger editorial project called "Ars Viva", intended to create an alternative platform and support system for new music that could not prosper in Nazi Germany, which Scherchen left in sign of protest in 1933. With every article printed in four languages (English, French, German, and Italian) Musica Viva’s internationalism was present on every page. “The language question is obliterated in the whole world of culture,” read a review at the time, “and the revue may be appreciated by all.” However, this utopian impulse made the journal expensive to produce and it lasted for only three issues.

 A color for each language has been selected – orange for English, green for French, red for German, and blue for Italian – creating color coded areas according to the way the text flows on the double-page spreads.

A color for each language has been selected – orange for English, green for French, red for German, and blue for Italian – creating color coded areas according to the way the text flows on the double-page spreads.

 The quilting technique gives to the works the quality of being an image but also something potentially functional. Here basic colors and simple geometric forms start to create a new language model that is both visual and tactile. The spreads can be hanged on the wall or from the ceiling, thus influencing the acoustics of a room by reducing the echo; they can be laid out individually, joined together to form a large area, or stacked on top of each other like a mat.

The quilting technique gives to the works the quality of being an image but also something potentially functional. Here basic colors and simple geometric forms start to create a new language model that is both visual and tactile. The spreads can be hanged on the wall or from the ceiling, thus influencing the acoustics of a room by reducing the echo; they can be laid out individually, joined together to form a large area, or stacked on top of each other like a mat.

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