William Engelen is a visual artist and composer, born in the Netherlands, living and working in Berlin. His work traverses the spectrum between visual arts and music, poaching strategies from each field to test the boundaries between image and sound. The output includes installations, performances, videos, musical scores and even models.
His compositions are written by visually responding to a given locale—whether it be a museum, a church, a construction site, or the artist’s own belly—and then finding a method of acoustic translation. The final work might return to its site of origin or be transferred to yet other spaces such as parks, city squares, silos, museums, or programmed into mobile phones. His musical scores are not written using traditional notation, but with drawing techniques that in turn form their own musical logic. As a performance, they are a collaborative negotiation of the different variables set up by the artist. Though they are bounded by rules, they are irreproducible.
Engelen has had solo shows at the Drawing Center, New York; Haus am Waldsee, Berlin; Kunsthalle Mannheim, Mannheim; Kunsthalle Osnabrück, Osnabrück; Central Museum, Utrecht; Witte de With, Rotterdam; Nasjonalmuseet, Oslo. His compositions have been played at Maerzmusik, Berlin; Gaudeamus, Utrecht; Ultima, Oslo. Performers he’s collaborated with are: Clemens Merkel, Montreal; Motion Ensemble, NB; Sonar Quartett, Berlin; Joan La Barbara, New York; Dimitrios Polisoidis, Vienna; Talujon, New York; KNM Berlin. His vinyl records are published by Edition Telemark, Berlin.