Online caption

At the beginning of the twentieth century, cubist painters such as Pablo Picasso and Juan Gris, introduced musical notes and motifs into their still-lives. In this canvas of 1971, Kounellis drew upon this avant-garde tradition, reproducing a score from Bach’s oratorio St John Passion. The work can be 'activated' with a cellist playing alongside it. The painting exists both as a work in its own right, and as a trace of the performative action. Kounellis was interested in creating a harmony between history and contemporary experience, and used the theme of music to reconcile memory with the immediacy of the present moment.