Photo by David Regen

Below is information about a spectacular performance installation in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.  An interview with Amir Khosrowpour, one of the participating pianists, will be forthcoming.

Performance 9: Allora & Calzadilla
at The Museum of Modern Art
11 West 53rd Street New York, NY 10019
The Donald B. and Catherine C. Marron Atrium, second floor
December 8, 2010 – January 10, 2011

Stop, Repair, Prepare: Variations on Ode to Joy, No. 1, modified Bechstein piano, 40 x 65 x 84 5/8 inches.

For the ninth installment of the Performance Exhibition Series, the artists Jennifer Allora (b. 1974) and Guillermo Calzadilla (b. 1971) present Stop, Repair, Prepare: Variations on Ode to Joy for a Prepared Piano (2008). For this piece, the artists carved a hole in the center of a grand piano, through which a pianist plays the famous Fourth Movement of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, usually referred to as “Ode to Joy.” The performer leans over the keyboard and plays upside down and backwards, while moving with the piano across the vast atrium. The result is a structurally incomplete version of the ode—the hole in the piano renders two octaves inoperative—that fundamentally transforms both the player/instrument dynamic and the signature melody, underlining the contradictions and ambiguities of a song that has long been invoked as a symbol of humanist values and national pride.

Organized by Klaus Biesenbach, MoMA Chief Curator at Large and Director, MoMA PS1; and Jenny Schlenzka, Assistant Curator for Performance, Department of Media and Performance Art.

Performances take place hourly, starting at 11:30 a.m., every day the museum is open.

Here are articles from the NYTimes, and NYC Culture, as well as a NYTimes Video.

Happy Holidays!

One Response to “Stop, Repair, Prepare: Variations on Ode to Joy for a Prepared Piano (2008”
  1. Laoshi Ma says:

    I wish the video was as clear as the articles — the comparison to Gordon Matta-Clark seems apt.

    Though, it’s a very simple and clear concept, something that leaves me with wanting more than just “we cut a hole in it, breaking a piece that’s been abused by too many people.” I’d find the comments made about the “breaking” of tradition with the end of the symphony almost sophomoric if the visual of the performance wasn’t so striking.

    Makes me miss being close to NYC….