Whether paintings, literature or film, the history of art is full of references on the chess game. One very famous example for this is the performance Reunion from the year of 1968, in which the American composer John Cage acted out two chess games with his chess teacher Marcel Duchamp and his wife Teeny Duchamp. Every move triggered four different compositions, which could be heard by the audience from eight speakers, which were arranged around them. Subsequently, the Fluxus movement picked up the interactive game between chess and art, amongst them for example the Japanese artist Takako Saito with her work Spice Chess. She replaced the traditional chess figures with identically formed transparent plastic tubes, which were filled with twelve different spices. To start the game, the players had to familiarize themselves with the different smells. The original conceptual orientation was transformed into a game of sensuous interactions.
With Drawing Pieces Akademie Schloss Solitude resumes the interaction between chess and art and invites the public to a dialog on the relation of chess and art. The lecture on the profession of a chess player by the current chess fellow Li Chao is complemented with the talk by the Slovakian curator and art theorist Andrea Euringer-Bátorová The Intersections and Connections between Art and Chess (Marcel Duchamp, Man Ray and Fluxus). Both artists, Duchamp and Man Ray, were members of the New York Chess Club and analyzed in their works and texts interconnections between art and chess. Referring also to their works and the ideas of Dada and Surrealism, artists related to the Fluxus movement like George Maciunas or Takako Saito created fantastic chess sets composed of sand timer or grindstones.
Among the presentation of artistic works will be the project Surveillance Chess by the artist collective !Mediengruppe Bitnik (Zurich/London). With an interfering signal, !Mediengruppe Bitnik was hacking surveillance cameras in London during the Olympic Games in 2012. Hereby, they substituted real time surveillance images with the invitation to play a game of chess. The monitors in the control rooms turned into a game console, the city into a chessboard.
The event ends with the performance and discussion of the collective project and work in progress chesSound by two former fellows. Concept and composition are fascinated with the silence of the chess game. Together with chess grandmaster Vera Nebolsina the composer Marianthi Papalexandri-Alexandri transforms chess moves to composition. Chess pieces are connected with different materials, their movement on the chessboard is recorded.
2.00–2.15 pm: Welcome remarks by Sophie-Charlotte Thieroff, coordinator of the art, science & business program
2.15–3.00 pm: Lecture by Li Chao, chess grandmaster and current fellow of the art, science & business program
3.00–3.15 pm: Presentation/screening of Surveillance Chess by !Mediengruppe Bitnik
3.15–3.30 pm: Coffee break
3.30–4.30 pm: The Intersections and Connections between Art and Chess (Marcel Duchamp, Man Ray and Fluxus), lecture by Andrea Euringer-Bátorová, curator and art theorist
4.45-6.00 pm: chesSound, performance & discussion by Marianthi Papalexandri–Alexandri, composer and Vera Nebolsina, chess grandmaster
Lectures and performance will be held in English.