7 maggio 2024

The music of art


A treble clef, musical notes and images, the profiles of two people with a microphone in hand "listening to the world with their feet on the ground, with a beating heart inside the earth. They are dealing with the music of the world." This is the artwork by David Lieske, represented by Corvi-Mora (London), which won the first edition of the SZ Sugar miart commission, worth 5,000 euros. A novelty both in the history of miart, the international fair of modern and contemporary art, and in that of the historic music publishing house SZ Sugar, which through an Open Call of free interpretation, highly participated in, commissioned an artist to produce an artwork on the first page of a musical score.

For this edition, "Allez-hop" was chosen, the mimetic narrative for mezzo-soprano, 8 mimes, ballet, and orchestra composed between 1952 and 1959 by Luciano Berio with the text by Italo Calvino, which we include at the end of the article, because it always deserves to be reread. The project of the German artist (born in 1979) convinced the jury, although the selection was not easy, as Anna Leonardi, head of publishing at Sz Sugar, explains, "all artists from the 178 galleries present at the fair were invited to participate, and the interpretations were varied, from crumpling the score to fleas walking on the sheet music." The "disobedient" flea is indeed at the center of the story, having escaped its tamer, it agitates the bourgeois society gathered in a quiet evening at a nightclub: a social critique moved by the two artists towards the immobility of the 1950s. The winning artwork was presented at the fair in the space dedicated to the music publishing house.

"It has been reproduced in 20 'de luxe' copies, which can be purchased for 300 euros, and 100 'standard' copies, for 150 euros. They are on sale at the fair. It is an affordable price because - as Leonardi emphasizes - we are keen to spread the work done with music. We really like the idea of music, even from a visual perspective, entering people's homes."

On a wall of the music production company's stand, alongside Lieske's artwork, is also the text that inspired it. Happy reading.


“Allez Hop”


We are in a world where nothing ever happens; everyone is satisfied, calm, and bored. The audience in a nightclub yawns while watching variety acts. The flea tamer begins his act. There is a flea that misbehaves. Where has it gone? One person in the audience starts to get agitated, then his neighbor, then another. The tamer follows the flea from one to another, trying to call it back, but he cannot get it to obey. All he can do is make the insect jump from one person to another. Gradually, the whole place electrifies and launches into a frenzied rumba, during which the general tranquility of spirits gives way to a varied web of courtships and jealousies. Among the audience is an important-looking gentleman whom the flea's bite throws into a state of despair and fear. He cautiously leaves the club, and the tamer follows him, having understood that the flea is on him. The important gentleman, feeling pursued, is overcome by a crisis of remorse and distributes bundles of thousand-lire notes to the crowd. He is promptly arrested and brought before the police chief, onto whom the flea jumps. The police chief goes to an official ceremony, and the flea jumps onto generals and diplomats: the political situation becomes increasingly agitated until the heads of state lose their heads. War breaks out. Through furious armed clashes, the tamer always tries to retrieve the flea, which jumps from one army to another. In the end, the only solution is for the flea to provoke a revolution by the women and the end of the war. Finally, the tamer manages to catch the flea again, but he discovers that she has a brood of little ones! He puts them all in the cage. However, the world is now populated again by apathetic, unappetizing, bored people. So, the tamer reopens the cage, makes the fleas jump into the four winds, and leaves.





Seguici su