Carsten Nicolai

Carsten Nicolai, unicolor, 2014, DLP-projectors, DMX-LED lights, projection screen, mirrors, computer, sound, bench with loudspeakers, dimensions variable, courtesy Galerie EIGEN + ART Leipzig/Berlin and Pace Gallery, Photo: Julija Goyd © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2019



Concert and Listening Session

Listening Session and Catalog Release with Carsten Nicolai
October 31, 7 pm, Salon21, K21
Admission free, limited seats, without registration

Alva Noto LIVE
– Concert
Due to the high interest in the concert, the chance to receive remaining tickets at the evening box-office is fairly low.

January 18, 2020, 8 pm, K21

Carsten Nicolai will be performing as Alva Noto at the Piazza of K21. The audio-visual Live Performance is showing parts of his Album UNIEQAV.
Admission: 15€

Please find the extended program in our calender.




Parallax Symmetry

September 28 — January 19, 2020

With roughly forty multimedia works, the exhibition provides an overview of the oeuvre of the artist and musician Carsten Nicolai, who has been active at the interface of visual art, music, and natural science since the early 1990s. Using electronic sound and light material, Carsten Nicolai creates minimalist installations, sound performances, and visualizations of physical phenomena that reflect systems and structures of the media world. As a musician working under the pseudonym Alva Noto, Nicolai is one of the best-known representatives of contemporary electronic music. Since his participation in documenta X in 1997 and the Venice Biennale in 2001 and 2003, his works in the field of visual art has also been exhibited worldwide.

In K21, Nicolai organizes the expansive space on the lower floor as an open, dually laid out setting for the presentation of his works, many of which are designed for interaction. The title of the exhibition, "Parallax Symmetry", alludes to the physical phenomenon of a parallax (from Old Greek parállaxis, "change, moving back and forth"), which describes the apparent change in the position of an object when the point of observation shifts. The symmetry of the exhibition is derived from the polarity of black and white, as well as of light and dark, processed in different ways. Light and darkness, sound and silence, visibility and invisibility are contrasting pairs which Nicolai uses productively in his artistic practice. The soberly elegant aesthetics of the objects and installations often conceal a complex functional context that refers to technical and physical experimental procedures and often also to historical aspects of scientific research.
Carsten Nicolai, born 1965 in Karl-Marx-Stadt (now Chemnitz), lives and works in Berlin.


The exhibition is accompanied by a catalog designed by the artist and Nuno da Luz: including numerous illustrations and installation views of the exhibition at K21 by Julija Goyd. With an introduction by Susanne Gaensheimer, contributions by Kathrin Dreckmann, Doris Krystof, Verena Meis, Linda Walther, and a reprint of the prose text "Ur-Geräusch" (1919) by Rainer Maria Rilke.

142 pages, published by Spector Books, 35 Euros.


Listening text for the exhibition

Acting as a kind of soundtrack, Carsten Nicolai recorded a reading of Rainer Maria Rilke's essay "Ur-Geräusch". Please find the audio file for your smartphone below.

"Ur-Geräusch" 2019"


Videos Carsten Nicolai

Alva Noto on Soundcloud

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