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early drawings / musical compositions | from the cradle to the grave | geographic and algebraic books | books with songs and dances | funeral march | bread art | stop sound >>> sound by petr nikl and miroslav černý

exhibition adolf wölfli - creator of the universe - prague 2012

The Czech Re­pub­lic's first ret­ro­spec­tive dis­play of works by Adolf Wölfli will pre­sent over 100 works cov­er­ing all pe­ri­ods of his cre­ative life. The in­stal­la­tion will be com­ple­mented by ex­tracts from his stun­ning texts and nu­mer­ous mu­si­cal com­po­si­tions by mu­sic ac­com­pa­ni­ment in­spired by Wölfli’s oeu­vre.

The exhibition will proceed chronologically. The early black-and-white drawings are followed by the first part of his writings, by the monumental epic From the Cradle to the Grave (1908–1912), counting 3,000 pages bound in 9 books including more than 750 illustrations. Here, in the form of a travel journal, Wölfli transforms his miserable childhood in a glorious one by mentally travelling around the world and inventorying it. In the subsequent Geographic and Algebraic Notebooks (1912-1916) he outlines the future and describes the establishment of the „St. Adolf Giant Creation“, after God’s creation the second creation with him, St. Adolf II, at the center. His gargantuan work is then celebrated in Books with Songs and Dances (1917-1922) and Album Books with Songs and Marches (1924-1928) in which endless musical compositions interweave with one another while being recorded in solfège syllables (doh – re – mi). Wölfli's oeuvre culminates in Funeral March, on which he worked from 1928 right up to his death in 1930. Narration is here converted into abstract sound and rhythm running well over 8000 pages. This creates a spellbinding mantra which will also be presented at the exhibition in sound form.

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