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Waters and Cages | Galéria mesta Bratislavy | Allowance organisation of the City of Bratislava, capital of the Slovak Republic


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Mirbach Palace, one of the Gallery´s buildings, dates back to 1768.



Waters and Cages

Author: Peter Machajdík
Pálffy Palace (show Contact)
21. 6. 2012 - 2. 9. 2012

Whilst Peter Machajdik’s sound installation WATERS AND CAGES, a harmonious combination of various components, reflects both the socioeconomic demands  and the goals of today's civilization, at the same time it stimulates thinking about environmental and political problems.

In the installation, involving the visual and auditory realms, four cages are filled with water from some of the most polluted rivers of the world, including the Yangtze, Mekong, Salween, Ganges, Indus, Danube, La Plata, Rio Grande and the Nile, hang in the exhibition room. The cages symbolise the changes in the organic components of the ecosystem, especially the risks to faunal assemblages, but also the changes in the inorganic components of the environment. They deal with the question of extinction of animal species, especially birds, mainly as a result of ecological degradation.  The cage stands as a representation of the diminution of bird species, as well as drawing attention to the suppression of human rights and the imprisonment of many political activists in different parts of the world.

At the same time WATERS AND CAGES is a homage to John Cage, whose works and ideas influenced the entire art scene of the second half of the twentieth and the subsequent first twelve years of the twenty-first century.
This year is the hundredth anniversary of Cage’s birth; it is also twenty years since he visited Bratislava, Machajdík’s birth-place.
Those coming to see the installation will hear the notes C - A - G - E coming from four speakers, one mounted in each of the four cages, and a rhythmic composition will arise from the different  time durations of each note. Two other speakers set up in the room will play, every four minutes and thirty three seconds, a sound collage (which itself lasts four minutes and thirty three seconds) of various interviews with and speeches by John Cage.
Peter Machajdik (born 1961, Bratislava) has been a freelance composer and sound artist since 1992. In the 1980s he was refused admittance into the Music Academy of Bratislava because his concept of music, at that time, was heavily influenced by the Western avant-garde. He has received numerous commissions and awards from, among others, the Kulturfonds Foundation, the Russolo-Pratella Foundation, the Slovak Music Fund, Czech Radio, the Bratislava Music Festival, and  the International Visegrad Fund. In 1992 he was invited to live and work in Berlin as a guest of the prestigious DAAD Künstlerprogramm. In 2006 he was awarded the Jan Levoslav Bella Prize, the most significant classical music award in Slovakia. Machajdík was co-founder of Transmusic Comp., which has championed mixed-media, free improvisation, electronic music and performance work since 1990s. Machajdík's works have been performed and exhibited at numerous performance spaces, galleries and festivals, including Inventionen, Berlin; New Work Festival, Calgary; Hörgänge, Vienna; Early Music Festival, Boston; Nuovi Spazi Musicali, Rome; young.euro.classic, Berlin; Kunstforum Ostdeutsche Galerie, Regensburg; Logos Foundation, Ghent; Institut Unzeit, Berlin; De IJsbreker, Amsterdam; Festival de Jazz et Musiques d'Aujourd'hui, Mulhouse; Kunstverein Wien, Vienna; Bremer Kunstfrühling, Bremen; Audio Art Festival, Cracow, as well as at venues in Finland, Denmark, Switzerland, Portugal, the Czech and Slovak Republics, and the U.S.A. Some of the venues where his compositions have had their premieres include Deutsche Oper Berlin, Slovak Philharmonic Hall Bratislava, Konzerthaus Berlin, Tenri Cultural Institute, New York, and Sala Filarmonica in Trento. Performers of Machajdík's music have included artists such as Carson Cooman, Floraleda Sacchi, Jon Anderson of the prog-rock band Yes, Elina Mustonen, David Moss, Boris Lenko, Jozef Lupták, Milan Paľa, Piet Van Bockstal, the Janáček Philharmonic Orchestra, State Philharmonic Orchestra of Košice, Slovak Chamber Orchestra Bohdan Warchal and Camerata Europea


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Peter Machajdík

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