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A Film Installation by Isabel Robson and Susanne Vincenz set to the Kafka Fragments op. 24, by György Kurtág

The travellers (Caroline Melzer & Nurit Stark), video-still from the installation "Roundhouse Reverb" © Robson / Vincenz

Two women travel eastwards from Berlin, a violin and the score of the Kafka Fragments by the Hungarian composer György Kurtág in their luggage. In an abandoned roundhouse along the railway line, they discover a resonant space for Kurtág’s music. The footage follows the singer Caroline Melzer and the violinist Nurit Stark along their further stops in Poland and into Russia. However, the East through which the women travel dissolves away from concrete places and drifts into the imaginary. The two musicians become figures that at times seem to come from the post-Soviet daily grind, at others from the world of Franz Kafka.

The Kafka Fragments op. 24, composed in 1987, ranks among the most significant works of contemporary chamber music. Kurtág used aphorisms and splinters of phrases from Franz Kafka, which touch on the motifs of the journey and the route. The composer dreamed that this work would be played outside of the concert hall: in schools, in universities or in clubs. The fragments were supposed to resemble fliers streaming out at passersby. Kurtág’s cycle is featured in a film installation that explores the absurd potential of Kafka’s text fragments paired with music clips. The circular projection, just like the roundhouse, becomes a turntable through time.


15 March 2013 – 26 April 2013


Eric F. Ross Gallery in the permanent exhibition


Admission with the permanent exhibition ticket

Special exhibition website

(in German)

Caroline Melzer, soprano
Nurit Stark, violin

A production by "Roundhouse Reverb GbR" in cooperation with the Jewish Museum Berlin, deSingel International Arts Campus Antwerp, and "Deutschlandradio Kultur." Funded by the "Hauptstadtkulturfonds."

Accompanying the film installation "Roundhouse Reverb", there will be a concert of the Kafka Fragments op. 24 by György Kurtágon on 10 April 2013. For information on the concert please click here.

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