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In our new Cinema room program and on the occasion of the Rolf Julius | Kevin Rouillard duo show at Xippas Paris, we would like to share with you a rare archive film featuring Rolf Julius’ performance from the 80s. In this dreamy performance – somewhere in between a concert and a dance -, Rolf Julius allowed the sunlight to be transformed into sound, weaving it into a hypnotizing symphony of tones and noises.
Rolf Julius (1939 – 2011) is a German artist who has been known since the 80s for his sculptures and sound installations, as well as his concerts and performances. His exhibitions have taken place in Europe as well as in the two Americas and in Japan, whose aesthetics of small gestures and shadows he felt a particular affinity with.
When one thinks of his work, what comes to mind are not so much objects, stable and defined. Rather, these are “moods” or “atmospheres” or “situations.” “Ecosystems,” in which things and places are enveloped in sounds. Besides, Rolf Julius’ artworks are often designed for specific environments, sometimes literally: loudspeakers placed on the edge of a lake to play a concert for it; small loudspeakers installed in a field or a city centre or in the white cube of a museum or a gallery. They are suspended from the ceiling, sheltered in Japanese bowls or slipped under floating glass plates. Modest and humble, they often hide like small wild animals and “decentralise” themselves in space to stay out of the spotlight, settling in corners or on windows or staircases. In the intimacy of their hideouts, they work their magic, mixing sound with other substances, be it language or pigment or dust.