Max Neuhaus developed his Time Piece Stommeln 2007 as permanent sound installation for the Synagogue. Since then, the “Voice of the Synagogue„ has sounded on the market square thirteen times a day during the hours between sunrise and sunset, its volume rising over a period of several minutes.
Max Neuhaus is considered the pioneer and one of the most important representatives of the sound installation genre. At the start of his career, the artist who was born in Beaumont/ Texas in 1939 and who died in 2009 was a sought performer of contemporary music. During the 1960s he began to develop new art forms and became the first to use sound as an autonomous medium in contemporary art.
His best known installations in Europe include his works for the Venice Biennale of 1999, for the documenta IX in Kassel in 1992, and for the Kunsthaus Graz, 2003. His Time Piece Beacon for the Museum of the Dia Art Foundation in Beacon, Hudson Valley/ New York was dedicated in 2006, his Sound Figure for the Menil Collection in Houston/ Texas on May 3, 2008. (For details, visit www.max-neuhaus.info.)
“Traditional representatives of the figurative arts have manipulated this perception via the visual sense by designing shape and colour. By contrast, I work with our acoustic sense.„ (Max Neuhaus – as quoted on www.adk.de/sonambiente)
The basic prerequisite underlying the works of Neuhaus is the fact that the perception of space, its dimensions and its character, is influenced by acoustic factors as much as by visual ones. The ear determines no less than the eye whether a given room is perceived as large or small. Neuhaus principally worked in subtle ways. He tended to use low sounds that are often picked up subliminally only, sounds on the threshold to audibility, blending in with the quotidian noises of the surroundings and changing them. Neuhaus’ works are frequently based on paradoxes.