A Tale of A Tub is pleased to present Modern Elevations, a duo presentation by David Helbich and Nicoline Timmer at Art Rotterdam 2015. Modern Elevations takes as its basis the architecture of the Justus van Effen Bathhouse, where A Tale of A Tub is housed, and the Van Nelle Factory, where Intersections takes place. These two major monuments in Rotterdam—designed by father and son Brinkman—have an international reputation. Both are prime examples of the innovative, modernist architecture from the early twentieth century, based on utopian ideas that strived towards a universal language of rational design. Modern dance and composition came to life during the same period. A Tale of A Tub has specifically chosen to present two individual artistic practices in which choreography and composition—in relation to space and experience—play a central role. Modern Elevations creates a layered exploration of space; the space of the location, the historical space and the space between you and me.
Composer and artist David Helbich creates site-specific installations, performances, and realizes composed walks in different cities. Helbich’s work tends to lean towards abstraction and is characterized by a humorous, often absurdist character. During Intersections, Helbich presents a new performance, developed especially for the Van Nelle Factory, in addition to a work in which the viewer is invited to participate.
For Modern Elevations Nicoline Timmer worked on the second part of her ‘opera’ Once upon a Particular Occasion which she started in 2013. The opera is best understood as a ‘musical’ structure, a constellation of works that expresses a set of insights, questions and desires that underline Timmer’s practice. The very personal reading that Ludwig Wittgenstein held in 1929 in Cambridge, entitled Lecture on Ethics plays a central role in Timmer’s presentation at Art Rotterdam. Timmer undertook a journey in search of Wittgenstein’s original notes that included all of his erasures and corrections.
Modern Elevations is supported by the Gemeente Rotterdam, the Mondriaan Fund and the Goethe Institut. Special thanks goes to The Wren Library, Trinity College in Cambridge, and the Österreichische Nationalbibliothek in Vienna.