Visual artist Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster and composer Ari Benjamin Meyers present a two-day workshop on their ongoing project Peer-to-Gynt. This involves a meta-staging of the Ibsen play, which takes as its reference not only the original text and music by Edvard Grieg but also the myriad links and associations it has left behind in popular culture, especially in films.
Participants get involved in the creation of short scenarios and situations with music that take these films as a starting point. They also have an opportunity to work alongside the artists and discuss and explore their creative process in depth.
Like the character of Peer himself -a liar and wanderer who moves easily between the realms of reality and imagination - Peer-to-Gynt will unfold over time, journeying from place to place exploring new acts, connections and forms in each city it visits.
Its appearance at The Hayward Gallery follows a first presentation of the entire project in Athens in May 2012 and precedes an outdoor performance of the fourth act in Arles in July.
Approximate duration: 3 hours each day
Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster (b.1965, Strasbourg, France)
Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster's works blend fact and fiction, illusion and reality. She regards films, and particularly books, as 'reservoirs of possibilities' and creates environments layered with cultural references and personal memories. Explaining that her approach to art 'has more to do with theatre and staging than making objects such as paintings or sculptures,' she talks about 'generating narratives'. TH.2058, her 2008 project for Tate Modern's Turbine Hall, effectively turned the atrium into an epic film set. It envisaged London in the year 2058, with the city's inhabitants taking refuge from the relentless rain in a bunker filled with books, piercing lights and gigantic sculptures, overlooked by a vast screen showing extracts from sci-fi movies and experimental films. Her collaborations with Ari Benjamin Meyers have involved works based on classic films, including Orson Welles's film version of Kafka's The Trial and Martin Scorsese's After Hours. Their recent work, M.31, is a musical pursuit based on Fritz Lang's 1931 film, M, which uses 'In the Hall of the Mountain King' from Grieg's Peer Gynt as its haunting leitmotif.
Ari Benjamin Meyers (b.1972, New York)
Ari Benjamin Meyers is a classical composer and conductor who has also worked with many contemporary artists. Focusing on experimental and new music, his work includes operas, music for plays, dance and film and often takes the form of 'productive sabotages'; he constructs and deconstructs musical situations, deliberately playing on the expectations of particular audiences.