December 8, 2010 – January 10, 2011

For the ninth installment of MoMA's ongoing Performance Exhibition Series, the artists Jennifer Allora (b. 1974) and Guillermo Calzadilla (b. 1971) present their work Stop, Repair, Prepare: Variations on "Ode to Joy" for a Prepared Piano (2008) for one month of live performances in MoMA's Marron Atrium.

From December 8 to January 10, 30-minute performances of Stop, Repair, Prepare will take place hourly in the Donald B. and Catherine C. Marron Atrium, beginning at 11:30 a.m. each day. The piece was acquired by MoMA in 2009 and is being publicly performed in the Museum for the first time. Allora & Calzadilla were recently named the United States representatives for the 2011 Venice Biennale. 

Blending sculpture and performance, the artists have carved a hole in the center of an early twentieth-century Bechstein grand piano. Standing inside the hole, a pianist leans out over the keyboard to play—upside down and backwards—the famous Fourth Movement of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, usually referred to as the "Ode to Joy," at the same time moving with the piano across the vast Marron Atrium. The result is a structurally incomplete version of the ode—the hole in the piano renders two octaves inoperative—that fundamentally transforms both the player/instrument dynamic and the signature melody, underlining the contradictions and ambiguities of a piece of music that has long been invoked as a symbol of humanist values and national pride.

Performance 9: Allora & Calzadilla is organized by Klaus Biesenbach, Director, MoMA PS1, and Chief Curator at Large, MoMA, with Jenny Schlenzka, Assistant Curator for Performance, Department of Media and Performance Art, MoMA.

The Performance Exhibition Series is part of MoMA's increased focus on the historical as well as the contemporary practice of performance-based art. The ongoing series, which began in 2009, brings documentation and reenactments of historic performances, thematic group exhibitions, solo presentations, and original performance works to various locations throughout the Museum. Upcoming performances in January and February include artist Alison Knowles's Identical Lunch project, in Cafe 2, and dance works by the choreographers Trisha Brown, Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, Ralph Lemon, Xavier Le Roy, and Marie Cool and Fabio Balducci, in the Marron Atrium.

The Performance Exhibition Series is made possible by MoMA's Wallis Annenberg Fund for Innovation in Contemporary Art through the Annenberg Foundation.

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Image Credits: Allora & Calzadilla, Stop, Repair, Prepare: Variations on Ode to Joy for a Prepared Piano. 2008, Prepared Bechstein Piano, Pianist (Mia Elezovic, depicted in Photo) 81” Long, ©Allora & Calzadilla, Gladstone Gallery, New York, Photo: David Regen.

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