It was during his residency at KRINZINGER PROJEKTE in November 2016 when the Belgian artist and musician Joris Van de Moortel developed his 10 Commandments for the Guitar Player in Vienna, a kind of vaste method to explore the city.
The show in Vienna can be perceived as a continuation of the exhibition REBEL REBEL at MAC’s Grand Hornu in Mons (BE) where the artist presented “The 10 Commandments for the guitarist by Captain Beefheart interpreted by Joris Van de Moortel” but totally new. Captain Beefheart once declared his 10 commandments, mind sets, for the guitarist. As a big fan of his music and an addict to electric guitars, Joris Van de Moortel used these 10 commandments. The Vienna version is an in situ installation created especially for KRINZINGER PROJEKTE.
"I wanted to involve this aspect of me operating in Vienna really close, rather then ship works from the studio which is like the regular gallery-exhibition-process. It’s a wonderful residence program and I think I understood it’s also the heart of this gallery, slightly on the sidewalks of this artificial market ruled art mechanism we’re mostly dealing with. So it was also important that the exhibition is 100% made in Vienna. The materials I’m using, everything, the entire package."
After entering the space you are confronted to a room sized speaker cabinet you can walk through with a huge wall of speakers and ten guitar amplifiers turned into lightboxes, each of them a commandment and presenting the respective physical performance in one picture.
At the opening Joris Van de Moortel is also presenting ten tunes, kind of appetizers for a song, as the immaterial way to give them form together with collaborators he met during his residency. "We’re in Vienna, it’s not only Mozart or Beethoven, it’s also the 60’s and 70’s, a place were one of the most progressive performance scenes took place. That’s a lot a weight to carry along on those walks I can assure you that! Luckily the mind has the ability to escape reality and make it’s own."
His installations, no matter what size, are a staged reality, "as far as reality really exists", he says. "For me they are the bubble of this ideologically projection of visuals combined with sound, light, setting and so on. This reframed setting, were light changes your perception, music gets you a certain feel or mood, visuals tell a story… But all what I’ve just said would’ve come out differently when you asked me another day."
1. Pick a guitar
Buy a guitar as soon as you get there, but don’t buy a new one, it needs to have some soul in it, new guitars are just a piece of wood, it takes years to get something out of them, this is something others can do for you! Hook up with an old one.
2. Listen to the heart of the city
Go out, listen close to the musical spectrum the city has to offer, use this sonic architecture into your playing and music. And then get it into your playing
3. Listen to the beat of your studio
As you’re working on sound probably not much else will occur in the studio then an empty void waiting to be filled. Try to get out what’s in that emptiness; juice the sound out with some oyster microphones like Cage did, and drum sticks! Electrified with a nice little amplifier. Get the tunes in your playing,
especially the rhythm.
4. Take some luggage with you, but travel light
Always carry some stuff, instruments like microphones and so, notes, sketches, but don’t take too much with you, safe some space in your suitcase for new stuff to take home.
5. Teach your method to others
Pass your experiences, as fragile and method-less they are, to others, young and old.
6. Look for a traditional instrument
Look for a Viennese guitar, some 19th century good old stuff; make sure it’s still playable. Test it but not necessarily buy it. Listen to its vibrations and get them into your fingers, go back and get these into your guitar playing.
7. Fit an outfit
Go to a local shop and look for a costume that fits and potentially resonates and breaths music to you, try it on, feel the comfort and tradition, imagine yourself wearing this every day, pose with it, then take them off again and put your old clothes back on. Once outside, still imagine your walking around in that new outfit you just found. While playing, think of it once in a while.
8. Play the streets
Go out and busk the streets of Vienna. Take a long walk and find a good spot and start playing. Play a fancy tune, something bluesy always works. Try to urn some money, once you have enough for a Ubahn ticket take the first train back.
9. Your guitar is also just a tool
Guitars are also just wooden tools with steel strings that resonate, vibrations make electric waves in combination with the pick up (a magnet with copper wire) and those electric waves eventually become music through an amplifier. Basically they get things done like many other things get other things done, so use it for another purpose from time to time, and see what comes out. I’m sure there’s more sound to it then just picking the strings.
10. Take a haircut
Your head should be fresh and clean to get the music in and out.
Bis: Find Fellow musicians
Collaborators! You’re not making it on your own; you need someone to back you up once in a while. A drummer is always a good deal to have some basis under your feat. Invite them to the opening and to join you making music.
Joris Van de Moortel
born 1983 in Oostakker-Lourdes, Belgium, lives and works in Hoboken
2012 Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin
2008-2009 HISK - Higher Institute for Fine Arts, Ghent, BE
Selection of Solo and Group Shows: 2016 Rebel Rebel, Group Show at MAC's Musée des art Contemporains Site de Grand Hornu (Mons), BE; Pink Noises, SCAD Museum Gallery, Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Passion - Fan behaviour and art, Kunstlerhaus Nuremberg, DE, Ludwig Muzeum, Budapest, HU, Stadtgalerie, Kiel, DE; Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens, Deurle, BE; Tragedy by the everyday and the absurd by the logical, ARCO with Galerie Nathalie Obadia, Madrid, ES; 2015 Rotten Sun, Art Untitled Miami Beach, Denis Gardarin Gallery NY, Miami Beach, Miami, USA; Performance, Art Brussels, BE; Music Palace, The power of music seen by visual artists, Villa Empain, Brussels, BE;
Week-end CHOICES, Palais des Beaux-Arts, Paris, FR; 2014 Des choses en moins, des choses en plus , Palais de Tokyo, Paris, FR; 2013 Schwarz oder weiss es ist mir gleich, es gibt keine Farben in diesem blauen Reich, Schauraum Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin, DE; Middle Gate Geel 13, curated by Jan Hoet, Cultuurcentrum de Werft, Geel, BE
Fondation Vehbi Koç, Istanbul, Turkey
Dena Foundation For Contemporary Art, Paris / New York
Centraal museum, Utrecht, The Netherlands