The work by Thomas Christoph Heyde is based on a complex system which combines musical processes in parity with object design, text interpretation and camera work to form a composed whole.
ABENDMAHL is divided into two parts. In the first part, Heyde breaks down Luther’s 95 theses into 430 gestures which are performed by the participants as a choreography. The “Theses” are thus epitomised rather than being just set to music.
In the second part, Heyde uses his text entitled »Vaterunser | Muttermein«, which contains an almost imperceptible encoded version of the famous “Vaterunser” (Lord’s Prayer). This part relates (in a musical sense as well) to a traditional “Vaterunser” choral which Martin Luther himself composed but ultimately discarded.
Four motorised, computer-controlled cameras which move along the table are also part of the complex composition. The camera images display 430 different gestures which are carried out by the participants and projected as portraits onto four screens hanging above the table.
© FZML e.V.
The Table & the chairs
The 95 chairs were specially designed by the artist himself and their dimensions reflect the mathematical proportions underlying the composition. The materials used (wood, tar, rusty metal, feathers and acrylic glass) relate both to the historical context of the Reformation and to the present day.