On five weekends in August, the Pierre Boulez Saal becomes the venue for The Gold Projections, an installation by American artist Joe Ramirez. During the summer break before the start of the season, Berlin’s new concert hall is transformed into a place of silence where this extraordinary project can unfold its immersive effect.
Image above: Joe Ramirez – The Gold Projections
Inspired by Frank Gehry’s first designs for the architecture of the Pierre Boulez Hall, the Gold Projections consist of two human-sized golden discs hanging opposite each other in an elliptical space, combining painting and moving image to create a fascinating visual and sensual experience. In the dark, the surface of the wooden discs, handcrafted by Ramirez and gilded using a traditional Renaissance technique, comes to life: High-resolution projections that reflect dream images, visions and memories invite the audience on a unique journey. The two films produced by Ramirez, Vermilion and Somnium, will be shown as part of the installation.
“Silence is to music what darkness is to the Gold Projections,” Ramirez explains, looking at the presentation of his work in a concert hall. “This moment of tension and complementarity between emptiness and abundance is central to a work of art as well as social inclusion.”
Born in San Francisco in 1958, Joe Ramirez has lived in Berlin since 2007. He studied painting and film at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago as well as sculpture at the Royal College of Art in London and initially worked as a fresco painter. During the restoration of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican, he had the opportunity to see Michelangelo’s ceiling paintings up close – an experience that directly inspired the creation of the Gold Projections. Starting from the origins of Western painting (especially Giotto, the Flemish masters, El Greco and Goya) and in dialogue with contemporary (light) artists such as James Turrell, Robert Irwin and Jim Campbell, Ramirez’s work turns to the notion of integration and an “art of bringing together” that fuses silence and moving images. Combining tradition and unexplored perspectives, the Gold Projections in the Pierre Boulez Hall invite the viewer to discover new, unknown, inner and outer social and existential landscapes.
“Ramirez’s use of the relationship of light as material, and material as light, grounds his projections within a highly personal and original aesthetic that is best described as an expanded alchemical imagination.”Mark Gisbourne
“All I know is: there’s nothing like it.”Wim Wenders
The Pierre Boulez Hall, founded by the conductor and pianist Daniel Barenboim, opened in March 2017 in Berlin. The concert hall, designed by Frank Gehry, is part of the Barenboim-Said Academy, a conservatory for music students primarily from the Middle East and North Africa, and hosts more than 150 concerts each season. In addition to the classical and contemporary chamber music repertoire of the 18th to 21st centuries, music from the Arab and Persian worlds, jazz and concerts with students from the Academy play an important role in the programme.
An earlier version of the Gold Projections was shown at the Berlinale in 2017. Presented by Pierre Boulez Saal in cooperation with the Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung (WZB).
Joe Ramirez | The Gold Projections
August 2nd to 31st 2019, open Fridays and Saturdays from sunset until 1 a.m.
Pierre Boulez Saal, Französische Straße 33 d, 10117 Berlin-Mitte
14 EUR advance booking / 10 EUR box office, subject to availability / 7 EUR reduced.
Maximum number of visitors: 200