Working on Seven Words, as part of Met Reframed, I hoped to create a piece that would not only be in synch with Haydn’s music, but also offer a contemporary reading of some well-known—and lesser known—prints from the Met’s collection. A few months into the work I finally understood that the piece is addressing questions about translation. How can words be translated into music, and music into images? How can a 17th-century print by Rembrandt be seen again? And by 'seen' I mean, observed, read, apprehended. How do we stage paintings? What is bound to change in relevance according to syntax, and what is ultimately untranslatable?
Seven Words formed into a piece about reading and writing—translating times and eras, languages and cultures—and the various toolboxes used to create and transform meanings. While the piece revolves around a moment of an extreme physicality, ecstasy, and final surrender, I was looking at more nuanced, metaphorical visual moments that capture the core idea of transformation and generate a conversation between those who write culture and their readers.
Watch a short documentation
watch the full performance: