Museum Exhibition

Ron Arad in the Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition
Royal Academy of Arts, London
18 June - 18 August 2024

This year, the British-Israeli polymath’s contribution takes the shape of a multimedia installation, The Quartet. Placed on chairs, against the backdrop of a custom-made rug, a cello, two violins and a viola play fragments of music seemingly of their own accord. With no instrumentalists present, the sounds are produced not by speakers within the instruments, as one might expect, but by the vibrations of the instruments’ bodies themselves.


The sounds emanating from them range from improvisations by contemporary musicians to musical fragments found in the archive of the Florentine Ghetto, sourced by The Medici Archive Project. Woven into the rug are passages of musical notation alongside trompe-l'œil shadows of the instruments and their chairs.


Arad is known for questioning the boundaries drawn between different creative practices — sculpture, architecture, design, music — using radical changes in context, form and usage to interrupt these categories. The Quartet is an example of such interruption, where he presents an entirely counterintuitive scene: chairs without sitters, instruments without players and shadows without light. In doing so, the artist encourages viewers to consider the form and function of what is in front of them from a new perspective.


This work serves as a preview for Arad’s upcoming participation in the Ghetto Redux project, curated by Shifting Vision, alongside Sir Isaac Julien, Vincent Namatjira, Lihi Turjemanand and Erwin Wurm. Recently, Arad exhibited his self-playing instruments as part of ‘Untitled rencontres’, the inaugural exhibition of Opera Gallery London’s new Mayfair space.


More information here.