William Forsythe 2019 at Museum Folkwang

This year William Forsythe (born in 1949) is presenting four projects at Museum Folkwang. They kicked off on 5 February, 2019 with City of Abstracts which was installed in the Museum foyer. The interactive video focuses on human beings and their relationship to space. Since June the Human Writes Drawings (which is part of the collection display NEW WORLDS) and the new site-specific work Aviariation have also been on display. Finally, in November Forsythe will present the participatory work Acquisition/Körperschaft featuring two dancers.

For many years renowned choreographer and artist William Forsythe has been developing choreographic instructions. In his new piece designed especially for Museum Folkwang Forsythe explores the relationship between ideal and commercial values in the art business and the institution of the museum. The classic understanding of museum is based on the idea of collecting, preserving and presenting. Forsythe reverses this relationship and conceives the museum as a place for production and acquisition, in this way referencing the Folkwang philosophy subsequently promoted by the Bauhaus of art and life being interwoven.

Visitors to the Museum are met by three gallery owners in the Gartensaal. What they offer for acquisition are short choreographic performances and instructions from William Forsythe. The performers explain to visitors what they need to do in order to master the choreographies. And what is important is not only the physical act they perform and practice with interested visitors but equally how they convey the choreographic ideas and actions. It is only once visitors understand and completely master the sequence of movements on offer that the choreographic action can become a lifelong possession. In addition, during the period this action is offered visitors can also try out and experience text and audio-visual instructions by Willian Forsythe at different places in the Museum. With Acquisition/Körperschaft Forsythe allows a broad audience not only to get involved in his choreographic cosmos as a recipient and observer, but also makes these participants stakeholders, accomplices and ambassadors of his work.

In conjunction with this work presentation in Museum Folkwang the artist and choreographer is also showing a new choreographic object at PACT Zollverein together with a site-specific film- and installation programme. In debuting a new performance work by Brigel Gjoka and Rauf’RubberLegz’Yasit, which was produced in collaboration with Forsythe, a young performative perspective is added to the programme. The live project in cooperation with PACT Zollverein is taking place as part of the cooperation project “Konstellationen”.

“Konstellationen” is a cooperation project with Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen and tanzhaus nrw in Düsseldorf, Museum Folkwang and PACT Zollverein in Essen, Museum Ludwig and the Centre for Contemporary Dance at the Cologne University of Music and Dance Cologne as part of
“100 Years of the Bauhaus in the West”, the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland Regional Association (LVR) and Westphalia-Lippe Regional Association (LWL), sponsored by the Ministry of Culture and Science of North Rhine-Westphalia. The patron is Isabel Pfeiffer-Poensgen, Minister for Culture and Science of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia.

In cooperation with       As part of         

A project by

An overview of the projects:

Since 5 February, 2019: City of Abstracts
Since 21 June, 2019: Human Writes Drawings
Since 29 June, 2019: Aviariation
In November 2019: Acquisition/Körperschaft (performative work in cooperation with PACT Zollverein as part of “100 Years of the Bauhaus in the West”)
Run in a Circle
Putting One Foot in front of the Other
Lecture from Improvisation Technologies

William Forsythe
Lectures from Improvisation Technologies, 2011, Video, 9:40 min.
The Forsythe Company and ZKM, 2011
On the basis of Improvisation Technologies, A CD-ROM by William Forsythe, Nik Haffner, Volker Kuchelmeister, Yvonne Mohr, Astrid Sommer, Christian Ziegler, Produced at ZKM Karlsruhe, 1994 & 1999

William Forsythe
City of Abstracts
Photo: Tanja Lamers