exhibition
Pierre Bastien. Installations “Paper Orchestra” and “Play Meccano Play”
19 May 2014 — 22 June 2014
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Pierre Bastien is a French musician performing solo as well as with his own orchestra, and working together with artists such as Pascal Comelade, Robert Wyatte, Pierrick Sorin, Alexey Aygi and many others. Among his projects is writing music for dance companies and fashion performances (including that for the famous Issey Miyake)

For many years, aside from music, Pierre Bastien has been constructing and displaying unique mechanical constructs to the public all over the world; musical robots made, true to Dadaist traditions, from household appliances, office supplies, children’s construction toy sets and musical instruments from various cultures and nationalities.

 Bastien’s displays have won him popularity not only in the circles of music fans, but also among people interested in modern art in the broadest sense of the term. His installations demonstrate the current tendencies of modern art, the intermingling and interpenetration of its border genres.

Pierre Bastien’s works will be presented to the Russian public for the first time ever at ▲CROSS ART festival held by Erarta Museum in May 2014. Visitors will be able to see two large installations: “Play Meccano Play” and “Paper Orchestra”.

Both installations will be assembled and prepared by the maestro himself; to this end he’s going to stay in St.Petersburg for several days. As a part of his exhibition, the composer will present a lecture and a concert.

Paper Orchestra

If we approach paper and machines working with paper, not as plain objects and devices, but from the standpoint of specific music. If we imagine them as full-fledged musical instruments with their own unique voices, then we can produce completely new meanings from those objects. And those meanings will be created together with their sounds. This is the aim Pierre Bastien pursues as he assembles his “Paper Orchestra” from paper strips, sheets, cuts found in printers, shredders, fans and other office appliances.

Making the wealth of paper come alive with electric motors, finding its own sound in each one of them and uniting them as one ensemble, the composer produced a unique installation, striking both visually and aurally. Both avant-garde and classical, atonal and harmonic.

Play Meccano Play

An unique mechanical orchestra, assembled from pieces of Meccano construction sets and musical instruments brought together from all over the world. It’s a mix of sounds, overtones, echoes of various countries and cultures, mixed together in one time and space. Each object can be watched and heard separately, but together, too, all those instruments form a full-fledged orchestra performing Bastien’s author piece. It is a paradoxical mix of technology and tradition. Bastien himself, the architect of this mechanic organism, is not entirely sure he understands his own creation fully. And he hopes that the viewers are going to discover new aspects and meaning for themselves, on their own.