why black? why red? Joan La Barbara sings Rolf Julius
e/static is a not for profit organization committed to promoting artistic research in its broadest sense, with a particular focus on plastic and figurative art, but also on music and performance. There are four of us on the team, two in Turin, Italy (our headquarter), one in Dallas, Texas, and one in Melbourne, Australia. We organize events - exhibitions, performances and concerts - with artists from all around the world, from the US, Japan, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Australia and, of course, from Italy.
e/static's most prominent collaborator was perhaps Rolf Julius, a contemporary visual artist, who, along with a few others, and in his own very personal way, undertook a truly groundbreaking project. For the first time he made sound an essential component of the overall art work, along with clour or other elements, thus expanding the expressive and perceptive possibilities like no one else had ever done before.
Julius had a dream which dated back to the early 1980s: he believed in the possibility of turning his images, his red and black 'dots', into sound, and he thought that the great American vocalist Joan La Barbara - whom he met in New York in those years - would have been able to perform it like no others. However, he never got to see his dream fulfilled for a number of reasons. First of all, this kind of artistic experience, because of its very nature, isn't exactly mainstream. Moreover, it is essential to find a suitable venue, capable of hosting his great scores, a muesum-like space, where the audience may listen freely while watching, without necessarily having to remain seated in a chair, as in a standard auditorium. In Europe, several attempts were made to bring his dream to life, but to no avail: unfortunately, Julius left this world at the beginning of 2011, just when it was about to come true.
After his passing, we made it our primary goal to succeed in this endeavour and dedicate it to the memory of this great artist, with whom we were fortunate enough and honoured to be friends for many years. Now it's all about to happen. Some of Rolf Julius' most important pieces will be mounted on 15th December, in the biggest hall of the renowned Contemporary Art Museum in Rivoli, a charming 18th century buiding designed by a great architect of the Italian Baroque, Filippo Juvarra. Joan La Barbara has enthusiastically accepted to be part of this project, in the name of the friendship that she and Julius shared. For the first time ever, she will improvise on the 'dots', creating sounds that seem to issue from the images themselves.
It is an ambitious project, one which requires a considerable financial investment in a period when resources for culture have been cut all over the world. This has been particularly the case in Italy. Therefore, whoever wants to organize such an event must double his efforts in order to find sponsors. By helping us, even through a donation of just a few dollars, we will be able to realise our dream. We also intend to shoot some high quality footage for a DVD that will be available after the event. We would like to issue at least 1000 copies, and if you can back our project with $25 (a really reasonable price), you will be able to have your own, when the DVD is realised. If you like to pledge more, $50, together with the dvd you can have one the last 100 copies still available of the beautiful cd "Small sounds meet small music", by Miki Yui and Rolf Julius. Moreover there will be 100 copies, each one numbered and signed by the artist herself, the great American vocalist Joan La Barbara, for those who wish to offer a contribution of $100. And if you want to become a really important backer of our project, pledging $250, along with a copy of the dvd out of a limited edition of 100, all them numbered and signed by Joan La Barbara, you will have your name published on its cover, in the list of acknowledgements, as one of the main supporters of our project. Our goal is to reach $12,500.00, which is the minimal cost for the organization of the concert, including fee for Joan La Barbara and all related expenses (travel, hotel accomodations, et al.) plus the video and audio recordings of the concert. Any additional funds will be used to cover the expenses of mixing, mastering, printing and the publication of the dvd, plus promotion of both the event and the dvd.
Please help us to fulfil Rolf Julius' dream of combining his visual art with the magical voice of Joan La Barbara at Castello di Rivoli Museum of Contemporary Art. Resting on top of a hill that overlooks the city of Turin, at the mouth of a valley surrounded by high mountains, the Castle of Rivoli will be a truly unique location for a truly unique event.
image 1: Akio Suzuki, from the "Hana / Otodate in Torino" exhibition, 2006 image 2: Miki Yui, from the "Hitotoki" exhibition, 2007 image 3: Paolo Piscitelli, from the "The Broken Places / 2" exhibition, 2012 image 4: Rolf Julius, from the "Julius" exhibition, 2001 image 5: Rolf Julius in his atelier, Berlin, 1981 image 6: Joan La Barbara in Julius' atelier, Berlin, 1981 image 7: Rolf Julius portrait, by Carlo Fossati, 2006
Do I need to add any postage if I live overseas? No, postage is already included in your reward, regardless of where you live.
Risks and challenges
e/static (see: http://www.estatic.it/en) has a 13 years long story of organizing exhibitions, performances, concerts and other events, and we already published a few cds and catalogues. About cds, in 2002, we published the first one, "Paolo Piscitelli : cores mix 1", which got a positive review in the 'short reviews' section of The Wire too; then, in 2006, we published "Miki Yui + Rolf Julius : small sounds meet small music", and there was a very positive review (among others) on The Wire; our last production, "Luca Vitone : A Sunday in Wiepersdorf", was published at the end of last year. All these items are featured in the 'publications' section of our website (see: http://www.estatic.it/en/content/publications).
If we succeed in our Kickstarter funding project, we will shoot HD video footage of "why black? why red - Joan La Barbara sings Rolf Julius" (La Barbara already signed her contract) and afterwards, after an appropriate post-production of the footage, we will produce the DVD and will publish it before Spring 2013. Then we will ship it to backers.
You will get a copy of the dvd, when it will be realized and published, after the event in December 15, most likely before Spring 2013. Also a thank you on our website, with your name quoted on the list of backers.
You will get, along with a copy of the dvd, when it will be realized and published, most likely before Spring 2013, another precious item: one of the last 100 copies still available of the beautiful cd “Small sounds meet small music”, by Miki Yui and Rolf Julius, published by e/static in 2006. And also a thank you on our website, with your name quoted on the list of backers.
You will get a really rare item, a copy of the dvd out of a limited edition of 100, all of them numbered and signed by the artist herself, the great American vocalist Joan La Barbara. We will send it to you when it will be realized and published, after the event in December 15, most likely before Spring 2013. Also a thank you on our website, with your name quoted on the list of backers.
If you want to become a really important backer of our project, along with a copy of the dvd out of a limited edition of 100, all of them numbered and signed by the artist herself, the great American vocalist Joan La Barbara, you will have your name published on its cover, in the list of acknowledgements, as one of the main supporters of our project. Your name will be remembered forever, as it will be printed on the cover of this remarkable and very original work of art.