25/03/2017 - 17/04/2017

Friday 24. March 2017 06:00

BLACK METAL SQUARE # 1-3 Jacob Kirkegaard

Open on festival days of the Easter Festival Imago Dei until the end of the concert evening in Klangraum Krems Minorite Church.


The installation Black Metal Square #1-3 by Jacob Kirkegaard consists of three black metal plates of different size, which hang freely in the space.

The visual component of the work is a reflexive art historical reference to the painting “Black Square by Kazimir Malevich, which once triggered a scandal in the art world and has long since been an icon of twentieth-century painting. Malevich coined the term “Suprematism” (in 1915, shortly before the Russian Revolution). In the second part of his Bauhaus publication “The World  As Objectlessness” (1927) he writes:

When, in the year 1913, in my desperate attempt to free art from the ballast of objectness, I took refuge in the square form and exhibited a picture which consisted of nothing more than a black square on a white field, the critics and the public sighed: “Everything which we loved is lost. We are in a desert…”

But for Malevich it was not about rejecting representation of the figurative. Rather he aimed to create the foundations of a new form of art, which is neither materialistic nor realistic. The black square should represent a universe in which the material and spiritual components coalesce.

This was no “empty square” which I had exhibited but rather the feeling of objectlessness… for the true movement of being begins with and in the zero.

Already in the sixteenth century the English alchemist Robert Fludd (1574-1637) used the black square in his Utriusque Cosmi series as a symbol for the nothingness prior to creation. He came up with the term “nigredo”: an abstract space, a mathematical origin, which should be reminiscent of the deserted space created by God – like a gate or a passageway to nothingness, the original universe before creation.

In the beginning, in the state of nigredo, reigns the black square. The four edges are inscribed with the phrase "et sic in Infinitum" (and like this to infinity).   

Jacob Kirkegaard expands the black square with the dimension of sound. The natural vibrations of the plates are amplified and fed back into themselves in order to make the own resonances of the metal plates audible. Kirkegaard poses the question:

And once we physically enter such a metaphysical black space, what do we hear?



born 1975, is a Danish artist and composer. He currently lives in Berlin.
His works have been presented in galleries, museums, and concert halls around the world, amongst others: MoMA in New York, LOUISIANA in Denmark, KW in Berlin, The Menil Collection & the Rothko Chapel in Houston, Aichi Triennale in Nagoya, Mori Art Museum in Tokyo, Japan. In 2015 a solo exhibition was dedicated to him at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denmark. He lectures at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts and School of Architecture in Copenhagen.

His works employ field recordings to explore the potential musicality in the hidden sound layers of the world: from recordings in subterranean geysers in Greenland and the Arctic or deserted radio-active rooms in Chernobyl to sounds that the ear itself produces.

Kirkegaard’s tools include accelometers, hydrophones, and home-built electromagnetic receivers as well as simple microphones and recording devices. His works make the omnipresence of sounds tangible. In his combinations of scientific research and artistic stagings he also reveals the subordinate status sounds have in our contemporary, primarily visualised world. Kirkegaard’s works are a listen behind the immediate, behind the obvious. They offer an opportunity to expand our understanding of that which we are and to better experience the world in which we live.