Monotone Symphony

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Yves Klein’s Monotone Symphony, Alex May, Martin A. Smith, and GV Art present a new interpretation of this seminal performance.

In March 1960, at the Galerie Internationale d’Art Contemporain, Paris, Yves Klein presented his Monotone Symphony and Anthropometries of the Blue Period.

Whilst a ten-piece orchestra played the Monotone Symphony, a work consisting of a single tone, three naked models rolled themselves in blue paint and then pressed their bodies onto giant pieces of paper to create paintings. Klein’s idea was to distance the artist from the creation of the work, for the models to directly create the images.

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of this major event in contemporary art Alex May, Martin A. Smith, and GV Art present a new performance utilising the latest technology.

On this occasion a single musician using a laptop computer played a new interpretation of the Monotone Symphony and by using light, rather than paint, Alex and Martin re-created The Anthropometries of the Blue Period images. With the use of their state of art projector and technology systems, the recreation not only paid homage to Yves Klein but also attempted a new exciting interpretation of Klein’s work.

“We wanted to develop Klein’s idea of physically distancing the artist from the artistic process, of becoming a catalyst rather than a protagonist. By utilising interactive light as an artistic medium, we have further realised Klein’s ideal of an entirely timeless experience, where the art created by the dancers does not ever physically exist; its passing marked only in memory.”

Yves Klein said of his Monotone Symphony, “even in its presence, this symphony does not exist. It exists outside of the phenomenology of time because it is neither born nor will it die.”

Marja Koponen
Geneva Rosett-Hafter
Daniel Kovacs

Format: Performance with three dancers, single video projector, single computer, video camera, stereo soundtrack

Size: 6m x 4m x 3m approx

Available for exhibition: Yes