Sensory Spaces is a series of commissioned solo projects presented in the Willem van der Vorm Gallery in Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, located in the freely accessible exhibition space in the museum’s entrance hall. Artists are invited to respond to the architectural qualities of the space, emphasizing notions of transformation and surprise.
For the tenth edition of Sensory Spaces, Olaf Nicolai presents a site-specific adaptation of the works ‘Probestück 1, 2 and 3’. Following the Greek composer Iannis Xenakis’ (1922-2001) definition of architecture as ‘petrified music’, it investigates the complex tension between improvisation and notation. As philosopher Jean-Luc Nancy (1940) puts it: ‘Maybe music is not language without sense. Maybe it is sense without language.&rsquo
Olaf Nicolai (Halle 1962) is interested in the logic behind the act of translation. What if an emotion was expressed in a shape, a story was summed up in a colour, or if a sound was represented as architecture? His research into these apparent contradictions shows that different media can be utilized depending on specific needs and goals.