Akademie der Künste

“YOU DON’T MISS YOUR WATER,” the saying goes, “till your well runs dry.” True, I never thought I’d miss Hanne Darboven so much. That was my initial reaction to “Notation,” a vastly ambitious show on view last fall at Berlin’s Akademie der Künste that travels next month to the Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie in Karlsruhe, Germany. Organized by image theoretician Hubertus von Amelunxen along with artists Dieter Appelt and Peter Weibel, the exhibition is billed as a broad overview of “sign systems [in] literature, music, painting, choreography, architecture, photography, film, and media art.” It wasn’t that Darboven was altogether absent from consideration; it was that the single, small work of hers in the show—a modest grid of sixteen pages (Score, 1990)—suggested a woeful omission, given how elegantly her work turns on the moment when exercises become aesthetics. What I missed,

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