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The Uninterrupted Song for the City

28 June - 2 July 2023 • Sinzo Aanza, Hiromi Gut, Valentine Michaud, Vincent Glanzmann, Rokia Bamba, Eden Sekulović, Lynhan Balatbat-Helbock, Samuel Baah Kortey, Jere Ikongio, Andreas Brüll, Philippe Kocher

Museums have long faced questions about the origins of their exhibits. Is it art looted during colonial times or is it art that has been looted during World War II? How does a Museum make stories accessible and who should be telling the stories.

But what if a museum were empty? What purpose would a museum serve? The project "The Uninterrupted Song for the City," by artist Sinzo Aanza, presented by guerillaclassics, in collaboration with the Museum Rietberg, delves into questions of who has the power to tell a story, to whom the stories should be told, and in which context they should be told. 

Aanza's interest lies particularly in the museum space itself. He encourages us to imagine the space without the often questioned collections, without negating the stories and the interconnectivity that arouse between the stories of the different parts of the world within the museum context. Aanza's focus is on exploring history and collections collaboratively, as well as considering the diverse functions of the museum space.

In his work on "The Uninterrupted Song for the City", Aanza draws on the audio archives of the Afrika Museum Tervuren and the Museum Rietberg, which document musical and ritual practices from different regions of Central and West Africa. The archive documents practices that have almost disappeared because they could not withstand urbanization, population displacement caused by land and resource exploitation, or colonial prohibitions. It is an echo of stories that may have been forgotten but have influenced different musical styles along the routes of the slave trade. Therefore, Aanza confronts the archives with an artificial intelligence that interweaves various elements, from the music of the slave trade center Congo Square in New Orleans - one of the origins of jazz - to Western classical music and contemporary compositions with the archives. The result is a symphony of synthesis and expansion, provides the foundation for musicians to interact with.c

Last July, the collaborative sound installation project was premiered during guerrillaclassics' free flow festival, namely Sinzo Aanza, Huguette Tolinga, Vincent Glanzmann, Vladimir Petrov, and Hiromi Gut. The outcome was a project in which a collaboration among artists from diverse cultural and musical backgrounds took place, and which presented limitless possibilities for further exploration and development with new musicians and techniques.

After its premiere in Zurich, the sound recordings were showcased at the Biennale in Lubumbashi, where Vicko Tengwa performed live, accompanying the recordings. In January 2023, trumpeter Christophe Leloil interacted with the recordings at IMéRA Marseille.

Philippe Kocher, a computer musician, and Andreas Brüll, a sound designer, will work alongside Lynhan Balatbat-Helbock, a curator and researcher from SAVVY Contemporary in Berlin, to create a new prototype of a sound installation together with Sinzo Aanza and Hiromi Gut. This workshop will take place in April at Zurich's Hyperlokal, and will include artist and DJ Rokia Bamba, saxophonist Valentine Michaud, and cellist Eden Sekulović. These musicians will interact with the sound archives and be confronted by the "machine." The result of this collaboration will be presented as a sound installation and live performances in the park of the Museum Rietberg in June.




Museum Rietberg, Gablerstrasse 15, 8002 Zürich

28. June 2023, 7 PM, Performance with Eden Sekulović (cello)

29. June 2023, 4 PM, Talk with with Sinzo Aanza, Lynhan Balabat-Helbock and guests

30. June 2023, 4 PM, Performance with Vincent Glanzmann (percussion)

1. July 2023, 4 PM, Performance with Rokia Bamba (DJ)

1. July 2023, 10 PM, Party with Jere Ikongio, Rokia Bamba, Eden Sekulović, Huguette Tolinga and Lynhan Balabat-Helbock (@Umbo, Wasserwerkstrasse 89a, 8037 Zürich)

2. July 2023, 3 PM, Performance with Valentine Michaud (saxophone)

Sound Installation

28. June - 2. July 2023, 10 AM - 12 AM, 1 PM - 5 PM


About Sinzo Aanza:

Sinzo Aanza a poet, playwright, and visual artist, was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1990. In 2015, he published his first novel, "Genealogy of a Banality." Aanza's literary works and visual art explore the exploitation of natural resources, as well as the radical nature of social, political, and identity constructs and their impact on perceptions of the world and history. These themes are central to his artistic expression.


Supported by GGKZ, Pro Helvetia, Hibou Stiftung, Stiftung Temperatio, SIS