Music Box

Music Box, 2006

Yael Davis

Sinopale 1, “Thing”
curator: T. Melih Görgün

Two podiums bisect an empty space.

PODIUM A: has a broad surface area. A piano is insert- ed into it.

The ‘body’ of the piano lies on the podium, its 3 legs appear- ing underneath. In front of the

piano a hole is made for a piano player.

PODIUM B: has a narrow surface area. Two holes are sit- uated adjacent to one another allowing two ballerinas to be suspended inside them.

With the aid of assistants, two ballerinas climb up onto podium B. The first ballerina is positioned so that her upper body appears above the surface of the podium while her legs dangle beneath it. The second ballerina is similarly positioned but upside down. Constructions or harnesses are hidden from view in the holes support them. The two ballerinas mirror each other symmetrically. They each strike poses of classical ballet. After about 10 minutes they change places.

Later, while the ballerinas are still fixed in their positions, a piano player climbs onto podium A. He fixes himself within the podium. His body appears above the podium with his legs hanging beneath it. The pianist plays the Goldberg Variations by J.S. Bach. While he plays, the ballerinas keep altering their positions slowly. One can observe parts of their body separately (legs and hands), moving slowly from position to position, like a notation or a figuration of letters in the space.

The three participants and the instrument of this composition seem imprisoned in the podium in order to perform. The audience is confined in the space between podium A and podium B. To move freely in the space and register all sides of the composition, they have to navigate under and around the podiums.

This action takes approximately 20 minutes. The participants then take a short break and return to repeat the act. This becomes a routine mechanism and lasts for two hours. The ballerinas leave. The pianist leaves. A podium with two tutus and a podium with a piano are left in the space.