William Engelen: Today, the Organ Has Played Beautifully Again.


Opening: November 4th 2018, 11.30 am

Exhibition: November 4th 2018 - January 20th 2019

William Engelen (*1964 in Weert, The Netherlands) is a conceptual artist and composer whose diverse work ranges between sound installation, visual art, happening, performance and music.

The production procedure

Anyone who has followed the program of the Kunsthalle Osnabrück attentively could wittness the artist's production process in recent weeks. Visitors to the concerts "Gebrauchsspuren” (“Traces of Use”), which took place  September 22nd on the square in front of the Lortzinghaus in Osnabrück or the premiere "Today, the Organ Has Played Beautifully Again" in St. Matthäus in Melle (October 14th ) may be curious, because they are part of the recorded footage and thus part of the composition. The purpose  of the art project, which will open on  November 4th, is to "translocate" the Klausing organ into the nave of Kunsthalle Osnabrück, which is located in a former Dominican monastery.

Premiere of "Gebrauchsspuren” (“Traces of Use”), (September 22nd)

The score "Traces of Use" was interpreted by the Canadian pianist Benoît Gagnon. As instruction he received an audio recording. The concert venue was the square in front of the St. Katharinenkirche in Osnabrück, on which 20 chairs were set up. Passers-by took a seat or stopped to listen to the sounds without them seeing who was playing. Gagnon showed himself to the audience only shortly after the last set at the window. His acoustic presence transformed the public space into a sensual event, with the sounds of the square mingling with the sounds that came out of a window.

Die Klausing-organ and the premiere in Melle

The Klausing organ of the St. Matthäus in Melle was originally located in the church of the Dominican order in Osnabrück, where today the Kunsthalle Osnabrück is located. After secularization during the Napoleonic Wars in 1803, the organ was transferred to the parish in Melle in 1819. At the premiere of the work composed especially for the organ "Today, the Organ Has Played Beautifully Again" William Engelen has taken over the role of the blower of the organ. It gave the artist the opportunity to shape the volumes of the notes themselves and to wrest new tonal formations and intonations from the instrument in order to prepare it for the synesthetic transmission process. The twelve-part composition "Today, the Organ Has Played Beautifully Again" (October 14th, St. Matthäus, Melle) followed a special sequence of instructions: "The Profane", "The Song of the Angels", "Evocation of Evil Spirits", "A Phenomenon with Delay "And" The Boisterous Blower of the Organ", interrupted by six intonations. The composition was played by Stephan Lutermann on the Klausing organ.

The concept of the exhibition

With the title of the exhibition "Today, the Organ Has Played Beautifully Again", William Engelen plays with the expectations and perceptions of the visitors, as well as with the invisibility of the instrument and the musician. Engelen's art can be understood as a reenactment or staging of spaces. The media dominated living environment has gradually changed the horizon of expectation of the audience. It seems as if it is no longer the material, but the medially condensed, is considered to be the “real thing”. What does this mean for the power of art in society? Is Engelen's minimalism an attempt to oppose overpowering strategies? Can art even sensually reconvert volatilities and dematerialization? Can art make the oscillation between visibility and invisibility tangible? Or does the artist merely offer cautionary insights into what can be lost in translocations through the disclosure of the production processes?


The show „Heute hat die Orgel wieder schön gespielt“ by William Engelen is a cooperation with the Freunde der Kunsthalle Osnabrück e. V. and is supported by the Niedersächsische Ministerium für Wissenschaft und Kultur.

opening times

Tuesday: 1 p.m. - 6 p.m. 

Wednesday-Friday: 11 a.m. - 6p.m. 

on the second Thursday of the

month: 11 a.m. - 8 p.m. 

Saturday / Sunday: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.


Kunsthalle Osnabrück

Hasemauer 1

49074 Osnabrück