It's a Questions of Power, Isn't It?


The work of Jewish-Dutch painter and composer Sedje Hémon is at the intersection of visual art and music. Hémon’s work is tightly interwoven with her biography: her career as a violinist was thwarted by traumas inflicted at Auschwitz concentration camp during the Second World War. Since the early 1950s, she focused on painting in which she seeks the ‘full, objective integration of music and painting’. Hémon’s abstract paintings are both image and music score and can actually be performed musically according to an ingenious system that she herself developed. Despite the efforts of Dutch art historian and critic Hans Jaffé (1915–1984) in the 1960s, Hémon’s work remained virtually unknown. Her work has been rediscovered in recent years thanks, in part, to the inclusion of 15 of Hémon’s painting-scores in Documenta 14 by Ndikung.

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