Sedje Hémon
(1923–2011)

Sedje Hémon, Polonaise des dominos, 1963, installation view, Athens Conservatoire (Odeion), Athens, documenta 14, © Sedje Hémon/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2017, photo: Mathias Völzke

Sedje Hémon, Balance périlleuse, 1963, Collection Sedje Hémon Foundation, The Hague, installation view, Athens Conservatoire (Odeion), Athens, documenta 14, © Sedje Hémon/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2017, photo: Mathias Völzke

Sedje Hémon, Conflit ordonné, 1963, Collection Sedje Hémon Foundation, The Hague, installation view, Athens Conservatoire (Odeion), Athens, documenta 14, © Sedje Hémon/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2017, photo: Mathias Völzke

Sedje Hémon, Collection Sedje Hémon Foundation, The Hague, installation view, Athens Conservatoire (Odeion), Athens, documenta 14, © Sedje Hémon/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2017, photo: Mathias Völzke

Sedje Hémon, Collection Sedje Hémon Foundation, The Hague, installation view, documenta Halle, Kassel, documenta 14, © Sedje Hémon/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2017, photo: Mathias Völzke

It is obvious I have to solve this problem. From 1954 until 1958, so for four years, I listened halfheartedly to people who insisted that there is music present in my paintings. Since nobody could actually get the music out, I let them talk and did not indulge in the matter. The time was simply not ripe for it.
—Sedje Hémon

Not long after this statement, the music came out. Sedje Hémon, whose life was marked by her experiences in the Shoah, trained as a corset designer and then as a violinist, and redefined herself in her lifetime to become a painter, composer, theorist, and designer. In her practice transdisciplinarity and the integration and translation of varying disciplines played an important role, as is reflected in her paintings.

The paintings presented in Athens for documenta 14 were chosen because they were all produced in Athens in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Most were used as scores for musical performances—inter alia by the Athens Symphony Orchestra. The paintings presented in Kassel, while being musical scores, also represent a core of Hémon’s practice that questions or calls for deliberation on natural sciences and epistemologies.

Posted in Public Exhibition