smashed to pieces is the cinematic recording of the dismanting of a concert grand piano, as carried out collectively by several paticipants. One is witness to a concentrated action, a focussed live act, one in which the form of the instrument is gradually altered – from a compact functioning structure to a loose assemblage of divers forms that now, presumably free of any function, could be channelled toward other uses.
The chosen camera perspective is a frontal image, which permits a view into the space from above. The film is projected 1:1 onto the floor oft he exhibition space. In experiencing the work, the viewer and camera perpectives thus become identical, while visitors that enter the exhibition room itself become live participants in a certain sense, interacting with the cinematic scene as in a sort of hybrid image. The action was documented live acoustically by means of contact microphones affixed to the instrument – the polyphony created in the course of the decomposition of the grand piano was used in the composition oft he soundtrack.
Countless piano demolitions have been carried out and described over the past 150 years by musicians, writers, performance artists and illustrators. The cinematic installation at hand operates on this foundation. These acts are always about making a radical statement and thus adopting a stance in relation to the world. Much more than dealing with the mere coaxing of sound from the instrument, these efforts are instead about the reverberations within the individual, with the instrument serving as the organ of demonstration.