A live video installation by Ofri Cnaani at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, to encircle the performers and create a theatrical context for Haydn’s Seven Last Words
of Christ On the Cross (1786)
With the brilliant Attacca Quartet

Seven Words is COMING BACK to the Met on April 2nd, 2015 with The Attaca Quartet

Watch a short documentation

watch the full performance:

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.