Men act and women appear .
Men look at women .
Women watch themselves being looked at .
- J. Berger -
A live performance for a woman and an expanded piano.
Video montage from the artist's residency at the Watermill Center where the project was initially developed.
Serafita Grigoriadou, performer
Stavros Gasparatos, composer
Stathis Athanasiou, visual artist
Behind every glance is a judgment. And sometimes the glance we meet is our own.
A woman is always accompanied, except when quite alone, and perhaps even then, by her own image of herself. While she is walking across a room or weeping at the death of her father, she cannot avoid envisioning herself walking or weeping. From earliest childhood she is taught and persuaded to survey herself continually. She has to survey everything she is and everything she does, because how she appears to others – and particularly how she appears to men – is of crucial importance for what is normally thought of as the success of her life.
To grow up a woman in a Western patriarchal society is to be constantly analysing and critiquing your own appearance, constantly struggling with the reality of your body and the ideals with which you have been presented, measuring yourself up, not for your own pleasure but for the eyes of men.
Glamour, envy and the act of looking – these are the foundations on which our current fashion and social media obsession rests.
A room full of people
A (non-local) performer
An expanded piano
A video projection
WHAT IS AN EXPANDED PIANO?
The Expanded Piano is inspired by the works for “Prepared Piano”.
It plays homage and celebrates the ever-evolving aesthetic character of the instrument. Here the spectral and spatial piano properties are not merely extended via stylistic and electroacoustic means, but instead, these aspects are expanded so that the listeners are immersed within a virtual new instrument whose aural size is only bounded by the extremities of the concert hall. The piano is thus heard through a sonic magnifying glass so that the listener embarks into an Alice in Wonderland-like acoustic journey.
This instrument embodies the outcome of multiple reactions to a single action.
The setup of the Expanded Piano installation consists of the following elements:
The acoustic capture of the piano sound via multiple microphones from different positions along its soundboard and strings
The direct capturing of soundboard vibrations through contact microphones
The triggering of electronic sounds from the normal playing action
The acoustic projection into the space (spatialization) of these individual sound elements in a multi channel audio setup
The triggering and live editing of the video streams though the piano performance