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Launch: ‘Faust’, a soundtrack + photography booklet by Anne Imhof

Text by CLOT Magazine

Faust, Anne Imhof, PAN (2019)

Faust is a contemporary music album by artist Anne Imhof to be released on September 13th, 2019. The music first debuted as a soundtrack to the performance and installation of the same name put on by Anne Imhof at the 57th Venice Biennale of Art in 2017. Anne Imhof is a German contemporary artist living and working in Berlin, Frankfurt, and Paris. Working primarily with painting, installation, and performance, the widely acclaimed artist has exhibited worldwide at Tate Modern in London, MoMA in New York, and the Centre Pompidou in Paris, among many other places. Her unusual use of materials and space and often bizarre performances explore human emotion and challenge conventional power dynamics.

The five-hour-long performance presented at the German Pavilion consisted of brutalist architecture, paintings, objects, and performers engaged in a variety of different activities, from singing, dancing, screaming, and wall-climbing to more mundane activities like checking phones and staring blankly. Aiming to portray a harsh and isolating reality where people are confined by physical, financial, political, and societal constraints, the exhibition was a massive hit at the Biennale, resulting in Imhof taking home the Golden Lion for Best National Participation. 

The album derived from the event is part documentation and part elaboration, an audio representation of the live performance’s movement, gesticulation, sensation, and emotion.
Faust will be released in record label PAN’s recently launched new sublabel, ENTOPIA, a space which seeks to amplify and redefine our ideas of what a soundtrack can be. 

The soundtrack was composed in a band-like way by Imhoff and her close associates Billy Bultheel, Franziska Aigner, and Eliza Douglas before the opening of the performance at the Venice Biennale. The record comprises live recordings and original arrangements featuring vocal interventions, electronic abstractions, periods of silence, cries, and calls. The album invites us into the underbelly of Imhof’s emotionally vivid views of power, complicity, and vulnerability and demonstrates the significance of sound in Imhof’s creative work. It is a chronicle of a performance long gone and a hope for continual creation.

(Media courtesy of PAN)

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