rolf julius

Rolf Julius (* 1939-2011) studied at the art academies in Bremen and Berlin from 1961 to 1969. He received a PS-1 scholarship in New York (1983?4), a working scholarship from the Berlin Senate (1986) and a fellowship at the Japan Foundation in Kyoto (1991). In 1995?6 he was a visiting professor at the Bremen Academy of Art. He has received an honorary award from the German Klangkunst Prize (2004) and the Hannah Höch Prize (2005).



Music in things

'Sounds that wait,

Tones left over,

Music one forgets.'

(Rolf Julius)


Julius's Musik in einem Stein (?Music in a stone?, 1982) has become famous. It consists of cobblestones installed as ground-level sculpture, where each stone is equipped with tiny tweeters and emits soft sounds. For this purpose Julius captured everyday and natural sounds as well as instrumental pitches on magnetic tape and used them to give things back their 'voices'. Similarly, he imparted colour to spaces and objects by assigning visual or tactile attributes to his music. Like the line of a drawing, sounds also have a surface; they can be coarse or smooth, grey or red. This gave rise, for example, to Musik für einen gelben Raum ? presto ('Music for a yellow room ? presto', 1982), an empty office with white walls and a floor on which he placed two flat yellow tweeters and a yellow broadband loudspeaker emitting sounds that colour the room. Another of his works, Deichlinie (?Levee line?), is a photographic installation accompanied by two tape loops and a picture of a levee taken from the legendary 'For Eyes and Ears' exhibition mounted by the Berlin Academy of Arts in 1980. This installation, too, revealed Julius's keen understanding for acoustical points of view. more


produced by

Deutscher Musikrat gemeinnützige Projekt-
gesellschaft mbH


Zeitgenössische Musik

Weberstraße 59, 53113 Bonn

P 02 28 - 20 91 170
F 02 28 - 20 91 200

curators of the exhibition

Stefan Fricke,

Johannes S. Sistermanns