Sunday, April 15, 2007

Harpsichord by Basserode

Partitions 2000, Harpsichords in oak, ebony, bone realized with the organ-maker Pascal Gourrat, 109,5 x 150 x 18,2 cm 9 photographs 13x18 cm each

When Marcel Proust writes about having tea and cookies, he is inspired by having the experience himself, which brings back memories to his mind. With my past work Textable Movie, I wanted to recreate this same phenomenon, by presenting instantly to the users, videos from their own footage. By immersion into their own memories, they could become engaged into telling rich, and passionate stories, based on past experience.

Russian poet Joseph Brodsky - "any new aesthetic reality helps man to specify his own ethical reality .../... an aesthetic choice is invariably individual, aesthetic suffering is invariably personal suffering. Any new aesthetic reality turns the person it has affected into an even more private person, and this private character, which at times takes on the form of literary or other taste, may per se, be, if not a guarantee, then at least a form of protection against enslavement"

I recently discovered partitions by Jérome Basserode. This object is very disconcerting by being a piano with only 5 white and 4 black keys, piano that is not large but thin and long. Made structurally out of oak, ebony for the keys and bone for the white keys, built based on the harpsichord technique, it creates very unusual sounds. The partition is a picture of a forest that the player can choose to play. The spectator becomes musician by following memories driven by the image.

The installation Partitions, shown in the 6th chapter of the exhibition comprises two objects that formally resemble a fragment of a grand piano but use the musical technique of a harpsichord. Each harpsichord has a keyboard that counts 9 keys ( 5 white, 4 black, in alternation). The unusual sound of these keys determines the initial playing situation. Two series of 9 photographs act as partitions, representing various motifs from the natural and urban environment. The spectator can use the motif of his choice from the photographs as a partition, sit it on the intended stand and begin playing. The visually activated memory can thus express itself musically through the spectator’s playing the harpsichord. Basserode chose to use the sculptural and architectural elements at his disposal to present the photographs. He installed them so that their placement in relation to the harpsichords would produce a certain tension. The dynamism conferred upon the exhibition space by the position of the objects presented and the harpsichords finds an extension and resonance in Kretzschmar’s music and Basserode’s nomadism. Juliane Wellerdiek

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