© katya ev (ekaterina vasilyeva), 2017

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Augenmusik

performance (site-specific)

Paris

2016

curated by Azad Asifovich

 

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Augenmusik proposes a poetic response to the current events, becoming one with the city topography and the proper experience of its inhabitants. The symbols of power are handed over to an individual, scaled to a singular human being. The march, the geography and the sound composition palpably question the urban body.

 

The walkers overcome the city limit through its gates, historically strategic access points letting to control it. Platon chases the poets away out of the ideal city. They arrive therefore from outside, along the axes, all leading to the market square. Center of the social life and gathering place where the direct democracy is enacted in the Greek polis, nowadays the market place operates as a sign of the market economy and, therefore, of the spectacle.

 

The ordinary practitioners of the city who «live under the thresholds of visibility» - walkers - weave the itinerary, transform the topographic system of the city into space. Walking is  « a spatial embodiment of the place, in the same way as speech is a sonorous embodiment of language»1. According to De Certeau’s formula, walking becomes «a space of utterance». Here, the walkers appear as figures of pilgrims whose speech is pronounced by their body. Associated with authority, they introduce a rupture by taking out a functional object, an emergency light, out of its context and functionality, and thus, transforming it into a sign. Blue -  the «royal» colour.

 

The centripetal impetus of the walkers, the physical union of their bodies, creates togetherness, that manifests itself through the sound that achieves the unity out of the fragmented score. The harmony of the original partition is nonetheless betrayed by the sound medium : the score is created by the synthetical sounds of the siren. The security alert, the radicality, the brutality of the spectacle  «resurects both the image and the event. For, at the same time as the image exalts the event, it also takes it hostage»2. A police globalization , a total control, a security terror are already identified by Baudrillard in 2007 as consequences of a spectacular power, which backfires on the system, where the real is superadded to the image, like «a bonus of terror».

 

« To hear with eyes belongs to love’s fine wit »3. An intellectual exercise on the counterpoint, which Bach leads to the greatest heights in The Art of the Fugue, enables to hear it as «music for the eyes». The complexity of the variations on a theme, through the reversal, the increase, or the decrease transcribed in multiple melodic lines, transforms the score in a script for the eye. Indicating the reserves of invisibility, walking is bestowed a poetic content. The equality of musical voices as the foundation of a polyphonic writing, joins here the principle democratic plurality. The Art of the Fugue, Bach’s most controversial work, considered as his musical testament and, in the eye of many musicologists, left deliberately unfinished, interrupts itself in its manuscript at bar No. 239 of the XIXth Counterpoint.

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1     Michel De Certeau, «Arts of doing» in The Practice of Everyday Life, Paris, Gallimard, 1990-1994.

2     Jean Beaudrillard, «The Spirit of Terrorism», Le Monde, 6 mars 2007.

3     William Sheakspear, Sonnet XXIII

 

 

        Ekaterina Vasilyeva,

 March 2016