NEW YORK, NY.- The Museum of Modern Art
s Performance Exhibition Series continues with Performance 9: Allora & Calzadilla, which will bring Stop, Repair, Prepare: Variations on Ode to Joy for a Prepared Piano (2008) to the Museums Donald B. and Catherine C. Marron Atrium for performances throughout the day, from December 8, 2010, through January 10, 2011. The piece, which was acquired by MoMA in 2009 and is being publicly performed in the Museum for the first time, was created by the artist duo Jennifer Allora (b. 1974) and Guillermo Calzadilla (b. 1971), who have been named the United States representatives for the 2011 Venice Biennale. Blending sculpture and performance, the artists have carved a hole in the center of an early twentieth-century Bechstein piano, creating a void in which the performer stands to play the Fourth Movement of Beethovens Ninth Symphony, usually referred to as Ode to Joy. For each 30-minute performance, the pianist will lean over the pianos keyboard, playing upside down and backwards, while moving the instrument around the Atrium. These performances will take place hourly beginning at 11:30 a.m. each day. Performance 9: Allora & Calzadilla is organized by Klaus Biesenbach, Director, MoMA PS1, and Chief Curator at Large, MoMA, with Jenny Schlenzka, Assistant Curator for Performance, Department of Media and Performance Art, MoMA.
Allora & Calzadilla, who since 1995 have developed a complex artistic vocabulary utilizing films, installations, performances, and sculpture, consciously chose Ode to Joy in accordance with their general interest in the social, political, and cultural instrumentalization of music. The popular melody has long been invoked as the musical representation of humanist values and national pride, having been used in such ideologically disparate contexts as the Chinese Cultural Revolution, Ian Smiths white supremacist Rhodesia, the Third Reich, and, more recently, as the official anthem of the European Union. Allora and Calzadillas altered version brings the compositions deep contradictions and ambiguities to the surface.
Throughout the monthlong exhibition the work will be performed by the following pianists: Terezija Cukrov, Mia Elezovic, Amir Khosrowpour, Evan Shinners, and Sun Jun.
Allora & Calzadilla have been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions around the world, including presentations at Haus der Kunst and Kunstverein München; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; San Francisco Art Institute; Whitechapel Art Gallery and the Serpentine Gallery, London; Kunsthalle Zurich; The Renaissance Society, Chicago; and Palais de Tokyo, Paris. They have also been included in group exhibitions such as Prospect 1 New Orleans, 2008; the eighth and ninth Lyon Biennales, 2005/2007; 2006 Whitney Biennial; 2005 Venice Biennale; How Latitudes Become Form, Walker Arts Center, Minneapolis, 2003, and Common Wealth, Tate Modern, 2003. In 2011 they will be the U.S. representatives at the 54th Venice Biennale. Allora & Calzadilla are based in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and are presently DAAD scholarship holders in Berlin, Germany.