Remco Torenbosch
EU, 2017

Collecting Europe artist Remco Torenbosch Photo: R. Torenbosch / Wilfried Lentz Cast Courts, Room 46b
The John Madejski Garden
Europe 1600-1815 Galleries, Room 1
Europe 1600-1815 Galleries, Room 5
The British Galleries, Room 58b
Medieval & Renaissance - The William and Eileen Ruddock Galleries, Room 8

EU, 2017 is a contemporary version of ‘Ode to Joy’ – the final chapter of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, and the official anthem of the European Union since 1985. Over the years, this iconic piece of music has become a collective anthem, often used by demonstrators or at historical moments.

Each instrument on Torenbosch's 6-channel sound piece was recorded individually, creating the technical possibility of playing them separately through speakers around the Museum. By fragmenting the score and using the architecture of the V&A to create distinctions, the listener is invited to mentally complete the work while walking from room to room. This ‘disfiguration’ of the original composition resonates within the socio-political history of Europe, where segregation and diffusion play essential roles. Torenbosch anticipates it creates completeness within incompleteness, or as the EU slogan says, ‘Unity in Diversity’.

Remco Torenbosch was born in 1982 and studied at the Universität der Künste in Berlin. In his practice, Torenbosch focuses on the historical and contemporary relationships between society, economy, trade and labour.