27.05.2021 to 05.09.2021 | Exhibition

'Sound and Silence - the sound of silence in contemporary art'

© Michael Sondermann
© Kris Martin

The exhibition is postponed.


The struggle against everything falling silent is an integral part of Beethoven’s biography. The exhibition is devoted to the themes of silence and tranquility in today‘s visual arts.


The Sound and Silence exhibition deals with the visualization and audibility of calm and silence within the context of contemporary art. It thereby takes into special account the paradoxical dialectical dimension of the sphere of calm and silence, which is itself always only tangible in relation to the sphere of sound. The exhibition is thus in search of the dividing and connecting lines between the not yet and the no longer audible on a variety of levels. It shows the images and sounds that contemporary art has for calm, pause and silence, and how they show the act of disappearance, without themselves disappearing; how they explain silence that is not merely the absence of noise; how they make it possible for the senses to experience the non-experienceable, the nothingness of complete silence, as well as the excess of the audible in noise. It asks what function and value sound and silence and their relationship as media and themes of art could have; and whether there is still silence in the world, and what is the sound of this relative silence, through which art has created a special link to the world.

The presentation will be staged within the framework of the 2020 Anniversary Celebrations commemorating the 250th birthday of Ludwig von Beethoven, and thus with a view to a biography, in which the paths from sound to silence and back, and the resistance to the silence of the world, are engraved as an existential task in an exemplary manner. As an interdisciplinary project that includes pieces by international artists, the exhibition opens up innovative and scientifically sustainable perspectives on the complex relationship between sound and silence – a relationship that is not only addressed by art and music, but also literature and philosophy.


Kunstmuseum Bonn
Friedrich-Ebert-Allee 2
53113 Bonn


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