Carsten Nicolai, future past perfect pt.1 (sononda), 2010. HD, video, 07:28 min (video still) © Carsten Nicolai

Museum Exhibitions

Carsten Nicolai

Parallax Symmetry

K21 at Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf

September 28, 2019 – January 19, 2020

Carsten Nicolai has been active at the interface of visual art, music, and natural science since the early 1990s. Using electronic sound and light material, he 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.

With roughly forty multimedia works, Carsten Nicolai: Parallax Symmetry at K21 in Düsseldorf provides an overview of the artist's oeuvre. Nicolai has organized 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.

For more information, please visit the Kunstsammlung's (opens in a new window) website.

  • Museum Exhibitions — K21 in Düsseldorf Presents "Carsten Nicolai: Parallax Symmetry", Sep 26, 2019