Each 7x7 sculpture is covered with signifying elements that rely on the spectator's inquisitive spirit. We're confronted with a kind of baroque pop object, though freed from any cynicism. If the works appear more didactic than conceptual, more ludic than ironic, they provide, above all a poetic experience. And, like poetry, the artwork functions on many levels - formal, conceptual and emotional.
For the 7x7 show at Edinburgh's stunning Summerhall,
Jean Pierre took advantage of the cinema-studio atmosphere of the place to create a lively shrine for the sound sculptures: 7x7th Street. Elements used on the sculptures, like posters and signs, are magnified to real-life size and create an englobing and inviting environment, from A to G, Monday to Sunday, Red to Violet. Wandering in the street, with its good vibrations and universal themes on display, the viewer steps inside and dialogues with the sound sculptures, each of them installed in one of the street's seven coloured huts.
The first stage show emerging from the 7x7 body of work. As Nile Rodgers, accompanied only by his 'billion dollar guitar', improvises on the theme of 'F', interweaving tales of Harlem with the story of his own remarkable life and songs from his legendary repertoire, Jean Pierre creates a Pop-Meets-Constructivism inspired artwork - from the glory days of the 'Harlem Renaissance' in the 1920's to the present time. The musical backdrop of the performance includes a seven part suite specially composed by Rodgers for Indigo Night. There are also amazing projections, including a short film conceived by Pierre Maillard for the 1st movement of Rodgers' Indigo Suite. These ground-breaking performances were premiered over two nights at, Summerhall, Edinburgh.
Isaac Newton divided his colour wheel in seven parts: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. White is in the central part of the diagram, because all colours of light mixed together produce white. 7×7 at WhiteBox makes complete sense.
How can we embrace diversity in a world torn by the conflict between standardisation and obsession for identity? Muller wishes to pen the colour box
and celebrate the full spectrum of our lives in their many contradictions. Rather than taking the stance of the artist as a moralist, he embarks us on a
journey through the seas of complexity and the skies of hybridity. Sometimes taking a sound panoramic view on things – drawing lessons from past history, digging into the origins of words, the meaning of symbols – sometimes zooming into our most intimate obsessions, Muller utters a
multi-layered cry for life, plural yet deeply personal.
The Red Show in A and its Alhambra For Today, conceived with Robert Wyatt’s complicity, carry a deep reflection that resonates particularly in these times of confrontation. Before being premiered at WhiteBox, this gesamtkunstwerk (total artwork) was created in the artist's studio in Molenbeek, a part of Brussels that has risen to sudden fame as a so-called world-basis for Islamist terrorists.
Passing through seven gates (amongst which a Gate of the Crusaders, a Gate of Jihad, a Gate of Zion and a Gate of Harmony), hearing sounds, seeing lights and listening to Robert Wyatt's talking of the immense heritage of the Alhambra and
Al-Andalus, the visitor is invited to reflect on notions like expulsion, coexistence, religion and beauty.
He can also listen to a splendid composition in A, Robert Wyatt last-ever composition, his ultimate legacy.
The Long March chronicles the journey of two children on the run. We don't know what and why they are fleeing, but their voyage sees them cross paths with many other people on the move. They witness the ancestors' long marches and interact with each of the seven gods of the week; they hear speeches pronounced and secrets whispered; they read the signs on the walls and even find time to play.
The Long March emerged from conversations both personal and artistic between Muller and Archie Shepp, the celebrated jazz giant. Originally conceived for a stage show, the large prints on fabric proved, with their subtle transparencies and supple combinations, so rich a language that Muller opted to develop them into a powerful installation material. Wandering amongst them, the viewer embarks on a journey of discovery.