PUSHING A PIANO

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Recently, I came across the work of Tisha Mukarji, and in particular the wonderful series Piano Piece (For George Brecht).

Made in 2007, it is essentially a performance piece documented with 30 black and white photographs. The photographs show us how the artist takes a piano on a walk for 30 days, or as she writes “the piano is taking me out for a slow walk…“. ii She set out with the goal of moving the piano 10 km on foot and to play it for 10 minutes each day. She notes how the piano is traditionally a domestic instrument designed to stay in one place and how often it is a piece of furniture rather than a creative instrument. Mukarji liberates her piano by taking it on a walk outside of its everyday domain, in turn taking her on an adventure. By taking the piano outside of its usual social boundaries, it finds itself in a new and unpredictable environment.

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Mukarji shows us that walking can be a liberating experience. Playing the piano outside must have sounded much different from when it is played inside. A metaphor perhaps for the transformative qualities of walking and the way it shapes the perception of ourselves and the surrounding world.

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