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concept : artists

M.A. Numminen

Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen, Director: Claes Olsson, video, 1.50min, 1993

Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889–1951) first published his Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus in 1921. One of the most influential works of philosophy in the 20th century, the Tractus became Wittgenstein’s most famous and most quoted work.

The first attempts by M.A. Numminen to set the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus to music go back to the year 1966: „I find Wittgenstein’s philosophy enticing and important, as poetry and as scholarship, for over forty years now I’ve loved the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. It is a seductive combination: it opens with logical and rational sentences and ends with metaphysical thoughts: there are things that cannot be said.” The final chorus became famous; M.A. Numminen sings the seventh proposition from the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus in German: Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen [What we cannot talk about we must pass over in silence]. The film has already been screened in over 60 countries. The breakthrough came with a performance Numminen gave in 1988 at the International Philosophy Conference in Stockholm. A year later, Wittgenstein’s 100th birthday, the record M.A. Numminen sings Wittgenstein came out.

artists overview