The Lenbachhaus will host several concerts in February and March 2022 featuring works by the US composer Julius Eastman (1940-1990). Eastman was a representative of minimal music and composed primarily for smaller ensembles, including piano quartet. This rarely performed and challenging music is an impressive example of the international and cross-genre movement of Minimalism. The concerts at Lenbachhaus Kunstbau are intended as a musical complement to important works of Minimal Art in the museum’s collection by artists such as Dan Flavin, Marcia Hafif, Rosemary Mayer, Robert Morris, Senga Nengudi, Charlotte Posenenske, and Richard Serra. Moreover, individual pieces by Eastman are important early testimonies to the thematization of racism and homophobia in our societies. Already his original work titles confront us with this theme: with „Nigger* Faggot“ (1978), „Evil Nigger*“ (1979) or „Gay Guerrilla“ (1979), Eastman addresses racist or homophobic themes consciously and directly, in order to leave no one the possibility to escape the reality of these discriminations. Analogous to the titles, Eastman developed an aesthetic-musical correspondence to the structural racisms of his time, which still exist today. The topicality of his compositions is a sad fact in this context, as he brings before our eyes and ears that even decades later we are still far from a language and society free of discrimination. The verbal violence of the work titles is therefore an unconditional part of Eastman’s aesthetic work and these must be written out in the context of the performances so as not to jeopardize the integrity of his work and his intentions.

Curated by Eva Huttenlauch und Matthias Mühling With the kind support of Förderverein Lenbachhaus e.V.

*This is the original title given by the composer. Julius Eastman deliberately exposed the term as racist, drawing theattention of non-black people in particular to structural racism and verbal violence. We have therefore decided to spell out Eastman’s original title in the context of the performance of his works.

More information: Lenbachhaus München

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