Marla Hlady

YYZ Artists' Outlet

Marla Hlady takes apart and rebuilds machines that make sounds. In recent years she has been preoccupied with rigging domestic objects, including toy drummers and teapots, to produce unexpected tones. Playing Piano, 2007, an installation shown recently at YYZ Artists’ Outlet, represents a shift toward a larger scale and a more accessible context. Striking in its complex barrage of visual and musical stimuli, the work consists of a late-1920s player piano with keyboard and bellows compressor removed (here to the front of the exhibition space). The parts still function to produce an audible rhythm, the regularity of which contrasts with the visual chaos of the rubber tubes, wires, and metal control boxes that still connect them to the body of the piano.

The instrument’s hammers still strike its strings in correspondence with the machine’s paper roll, but at a slowed-down pace that registers

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