William Forsythe 2019 at Museum Folkwang

This year William Forsythe (born in 1949) is presenting nine 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 three guides.

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.

Three guides (Franziska Aigner, Tilman O’Donnell and Rachel Walton) receive the audience in the Museum Folkwang Gartensaal and present short choreographed actions by William Forsythe. Only by grasping these and the process of making them one’s own are they acquired and thus become the property of the viewers. 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:

22.11.2019 – 1.12.2019: Acquisition / Körperschaft

Since 5 February 2019: City of Abstracts
From 22 November 2019: Unsustainables 1 (A Run in a Circle)
From 22 November 2019: Unsustainables 2 (Putting One Foot in front of the Other)
From 22 November 2019: Backwards
From 22 November 2019: Turning Your Eyes

Film Box:
Since 17 September 2019: Lectures from Improvisation Technologies

Collection part II:
Since 21 June 2019: Human Writes Drawings

Since 29 Juni 2019: Aviariation

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, 2000
Videowand, Kamera, software
Video-Software-Entwicklung: Philip Bußmann
© William Forsythe, Foto: Tanja Lamers

William Forsythe
Aviariation, 2013
Choreographic Object
© William Forsythe, Photo: Museum Folkwang/Tanja Lamers