Slave Pianos, ¡¡Emancipate the Dissonance!!, Press Release
lombard fried fine arts
November 10, 1999
Press Info: LDP/M
Michelle Berger/Liz Dunn 212–691–1970
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
LOMBARD-FREID FINE ARTS PRESENTS THE
NEW YORK PREMIERE OF
SLAVE PIANOS ¡¡EMANCIPATE THE DISSONANCE!!
THREE RECITALS OF VISUAL ARTISTS’ MUSIC AND SOUND ART
Acclaimed Australian artists Mike Stevenson and Danius Kesminas bring their collaborative music/media concert project, Slave Pianos, to SoHo, December 2–5, 1999. All performances of Slave Pianos, will feature the slave piano — a computer-controlled mechanical piano player performing arrangements of visual artists’ works in sound — and will be held at Lombard-Freid Projects on the second floor at 470 Broome Street in New York City. The world renowned FLUX Quartet will perform live at the opening of this exciting experimental music series/installation on Thursday, December 2, 1999 at 8pm. The entire performance schedule is as follows:
Thursday-Sunday, December 2–5, 4–8pm
Slave Pianos Installation the entire gallery space will be transformed into an “archive” detailing the creative process and exhibiting parts of the Slave Pianos Project.
Thursday December 2 8pm
Opening Evening Slave Collective Concert Performance featuring a live performance by the FLUX QUARTET of visual artists’ music and sound art arranged for strings.
Saturday December 4 8pm
Slave Collective performance of visual artists’ music and sound art in collaboration with a live jazz ensemble.
Sunday December 5 8pm
Slave Collective performance of visual artists’ music and sound art arranged for the violin, piano, flugelhorn, accordion, harmonica, percussion, and tape.
Sunday December 5 9pm
DJ OLIVE will be cutting breaks from a selection of visual artists’ music and sound art.
Tickets for all performances will be sold at the door of the gallery at an admission fee of $5.
No reservation is required.
531 west 26th street new york, new york 10001 phone 212 967 8040 fax 212 967 0669 firstname.lastname@example.org
Blending the visual and audio, Slave Pianos seeks to broaden the knowledge, appreciation, and understanding of works in sound created by artists more often associated with the visual realm. Australian ethnomusicologists and visual artists Mike Stevenson and Danius Kesminas’ show, Slave Pianos, draws from their Slave Archive, an expansive audio library of sound works created by various visual artists. Using original recordings from the Slave Archive , Stevenson and Kesminas have worked with composers to recompose, arrange, and transcribe the material to bring you Slave Pianos, an exposition comprised of a series of installations and performances featuring the Slave Piano — a computer-controlled mechanical piano player.
The Slave Piano creates a trace back to the artists’ original recording and provides a portrait of the original performance. Slave Pianos is a project that grew out of Stevenson and Kesminas’ common interest in the history and practices of visual artists working with sound.
At the center of the Slave Pianos philosophy is the apotheosis of the grand piano within modern and contemporary art/music practices. With the collaborative efforts of Australian composers Neil Kelly and Rohan Drape, and pianist Barney McAll, Stevenson and Kesminas have created a sound that their country has embraced. Australia’s fascination with Slave Pianos resinates an antipodean desire to lay claim to the grand piano, a view reflected in such films as Jane Campion’s The Piano, the David Helfgott story as portrayed in Shine, and Passion, a film detailing the life of Australia’s most innovative 20th century composer, Percy Grainger.
Slave Pianos repertoire includes works by Vito Acconci, Laurie Anderson, John Baldessari, Joseph Beuys, Louise Bourgeois, George Brecht, L. Budd, Chris Burden, David Byrne, Tony Clark, Dornenico de Clario, Martin Creed, Jean Dubuffet, Marcel Duchamp, Katharina Fritsch, Marco Fusinato, Mike Kelley, Martin Kersels, Martin Kippenberger, Louise Lawler, Thomas Lawson, Paul McCarthy, Bruce McLean, Daniel Malone, Christian Marclay, Bruce Nauman, Yoko Ono, Dennis Oppenheim, Gabriel Orozco, Tony Oursler, Nam June Paik, Martin Popperwell, Stephen Prina, Deiter Roth, Kurt Merz Schwitters, Ross Sinclair, Ricky Swallpw, DM Thomas, Jean Tinguely, Peter Tyndall, Ronnie van Hout, Bill Viola, and David Wojnarowicz.
Mike Stevenson has been exhibiting in Australia for 10 years and in the US since 1997. Through a series of photo-realist drawings and objects he seamlessly introduces conspiracy theory as a framework to help explain the thirty year course of contemporary art production. More recently, this has given way to pure empirical research. Stevenson’s latter-day studies could be described in terms of an artworld ecology where endangered practices are nurtured while introduced forms are analyzed to determine their impact on the local environment. Stevenson was featured in the Drawing Center’s “Selections Fall 98” and had his first New York Solo show entitled “the Gift of Critical Insight” at Lombard-Freid Fine Arts in 1998. This year he has exhibited in Germany at the Museum Fridericianum Kassel, and in the exhibition “What Your Children Should Know About Conceptualism” at the Neuer Aachener Kunstverein and the Brandenburgischer Kunstverein Potsdam.
The New York showing of Slave Pianos is part of a world tour, which began at the Museum Fridericianum (Kassel, Germany) and the Auckland Art Gallery (New Zealand) where it featured Toi Toi Toi: three generations of artists from New Zealand, curated by Rene Block. Slave Pianos also performed at Stills Gallery (Edinburgh, Scotland), Lovers (Melbourne, Australia), and Darren Knight Gallery (Sydney, Australia). Following this New York showing, Slave Pianos will be performing in Los Angeles at China Art Objects Galleries in February, 2000. Lombard-Freid Fine Arts supports young emerging American artists and important, cutting-edge international artists whose works challenge aesthetic and conceptual boundaries. Slave Pianos is supported in Australia by the International Export and Touring Program of Arts Victoria and the Australia Council.
For more information regarding the concert series, the artists, and ticket/gallery information, call Lea Freid at Lombard-Freid Fine Arts (212) 967–8040. For press information, call Liz or Michelle at LDP/M (212) 691–1970.