When the birds "make music, are singing whistling, chirping, warbling", spring wants to "come to our land" – these are the words of the well-known spring song Alle Vögel sind schon da (All the Birds are Already Here), written by Hoffmann von Fallersleben (1798-1874). This year, the arrival of spring will be heralded by rather unusual birdsong in the sculpture park at the Kebbel Villa, where the artist Stephan Dillemuth (*1954) will present different compositions of birdsong. Entitled Erdmusik (Earth Music) or Flügelschlag im Glockengestühl (Wingbeat in the Bell Tower), his compositions establish a direct link between birdsong and the world of contemporary art with its numerous scenes and groups.
Dillemuth's artistic practice is concerned with the role of the artist in society and their respective positions within the art system. His approach is exploratory: He researches, gathers information, and then works with it in unconventional ways. However, Dillemuth's work is not just about showing the possibilities for social change through art. For him, it is art itself that has the potential to drive social change.
Dillemuth calls the research method he uses (often with a collective) "bohemian". He focuses on the different constellations of co-existence in the art world, e.g. during the life reform movement in the 19th century or at the art academies in the centuries that followed. The artist is particularly interested in how the current situation at the time of the research can be related to the findings of his research.
The birdsongs that Dillemuth presents at the Kebbel Villa were recorded and released on CD already in 1998. It is his variation of an idea that the American artist Louise Lawler realized in 1972 on a record on which she reproduced the names of male artists in the form of birdsong. In Dillemuth's work, if you listen carefully, you can make out the names of not only male but also female artists. "Tracy Emin” and “Sarah Lucas”, for example, appear alongside “Jake & Dinos Chapman”, “Peter Doig” and “Damien Hirst”. 25 years later, the audience can now reflect on the changes and developments that the former yBa (young British artists) have undergone in the meantime.
Stephan Dillemuth (*1954 Büdingen, lives in Bad Wiessee and Tuscany), was a professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich until 2020, and he studied at the art academies in Nuremberg, Düsseldorf, and Munich. From 1990 to 1994 he ran the space Friesenwall 120 in Cologne together with Josef Strau, Nils Norman, Merlin Carpenter, and Kiron Khosla. His collaboration with Werner von Delmont, which started in 1997, led to several performances and the publication of "Corporate Rococo". Since 2000 he has exhibited solo projects at Lenbachhaus, Munich, American Fine Art, New York, Secession, Vienna, and Konsthall C, Stockholm.