In works by avant-garde artists in the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s, the grand piano became a standard prop serving the needs of new-art proclamations. That noble instrument and symbol of high culture – Chopin’s instrument – has been prepared in various ways by artists like John Cage, Joseph Beuys and Nam June Paik to appear in concerts, performances and happenings to demonstrate a rebellious new approach to music and to artistic events, explorations and experiments. Nowadays that rebellion has itself become a tradition, a classic, history – and this is the context for Robert Cahen’s newest work.
In this installation Cahen alludes both to Chopin’s eternally fresh and inspiring work and to 20th-century avant-garde traditions. This creates a dialog between Chopin’s times and our own – between Chopin’s innovativeness and the experimentation of current artists and composers. Cahen presents Chopin’s music as interpreted not in virtuoso performances, but through the energy of young musicians.
Video: Robert Cahen
Edited by Thierry Maury – Pixea Studio
Software: Paweł Janicki