PRINT December 2009

Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev


1 Allora & Calzadilla, Stop, Repair, Prepare: Variations on “Ode to Joy” for a Prepared Piano (Haus der Kunst, Munich, and Gladstone Gallery, New York) The “Ode to Joy” from the fourth movement of Beethoven’s Ninth is associated as much with romantic nationalisms and Nazism as with contemporary politics. (It is the European Union’s anthem.) For Allora & Calzadilla’s Stop, Repair, Prepare, six pianists traded shifts playing the theme over and over—while standing in a hole carved in the middle of the instrument, so they faced the keys backward. The piano was fitted with wheels; while playing it, each musician pushed it around the gallery. Devised in 2008 for Haus der Kunst and curated by Julienne Lorz (I saw it in New York in early 2009), the work explored the fraught relations of art and power, deflating the grandeur of the tune, which lacked two

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