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Posts Tagged ‘chorus’

Maria Popova at Brainpickings tweeted recently about artist Marina Abramović’s new production, “The Cleaner,” noting that it incorporated 40 Swedish choral groups. I couldn’t confirm that the choirs were 40 in number, but it looks like they were diverse.

At Deutsche Welle, Julia Hitz reports on her March 2017 visit to “The Cleaner.”

“Visitors had to leave all their personal belongings at the entrance and were allowed to stay as long as they wanted, becoming part of the performance. In fact, they were the actual performance. …

“Choirs and soloists are part of the performance. A group of professional singers connects the different choirs performing one after the other, resulting in a continuous, eight-hour-long musical performance.

” ‘They’re really a reflection of Sweden, like a small Stockholm: There are choirs of immigrants, such as the Iraqi Women’s Choir or the Bulgarian Choir, as well as traditional Swedish men choirs and church choirs, singing classical songs. Some solo musicians are also part of the performance,’ explains Catrin Lundqvist from Moderna Museet, who picked the choirs with Abramović and choreographer Lynsey Peisinger in a months-long process [that also involved] finding the 29 performers who are accompanying and guiding spectators through …

” ‘The Cleaner’ [was] performed daily at the Eric Ericson Hall in Stockholm through March 5, 2017. [Re-performances] of Abramović’s works are held through May 21, 2017. The retrospective will travel to Denmark and then to the Bundeskunsthalle Bonn in Germany next year, from April 20 – August 12, 2018.”

Some critics have called Marina Abramović too egocentric — for example, in the recent MoMA performance that had museum goers lining up for hours to sit and gaze into her eyes. But Maria Popova read her autobiography and feels sympathy for the traumatic childhood that shaped the artist. Popova posts this quote from the book:

‘When one of my baby teeth fell out and the bleeding wouldn’t stop, everyone thought I might have hemophilia so I was put in the hospital for a year. That was the happiest, most wonderful time of my life. Everybody was taking care of me and nobody was punishing me. I never felt at home in my own home and I never feel at home anywhere.’

Read about the Swedish performance of “The Cleaners” here and about Maria Popova’s take on the artist here.

Photo: Moderna Museet/Åsa Lundén
Marina Abramović’s “The Cleaner” performed in Stockholm.

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Photo: Big Belly
Foot-pedal version of Big Belly for those who are squeamish about handles. (That would be me.)

Those Swedes! What will they think of next?

Are you familiar with the Big Belly solar-powered trash compactors sprouting up in public places? Well, in Uppsala, Sweden, the trash compactors have been taught to sing.

From a company post on Youtube: “Bigbelly International Partner, EWF, introduced an innovative and inspiring campaign to raise awareness of the Bigbelly Smart Waste & Recycling system in the metropolitan city of Uppsala, Sweden – home to one of the largest deployments in the world.

“The Uppsala ‘Waste Choir’ had their first performance during the Valborg celebrations on April 30th. Valborg is an annual holiday to welcome spring in Sweden. …

“The beautifully wrapped Bigbellys – each as a unique character and voice in the choir – stood together in front of 60,000+ visitors to the city and sang traditional Swedish songs in celebration of spring! …

“As noted in a press release regarding the campaign: ‘Citizens and visitors could for the first time listen to a garbage choir during the famous celebration of Walpurgis in the University City of Uppsala. The choir consists of 20 so called smart dust bins run by solar energy. Uppsala and Sweden are known for their many choirs.

“Maria Gardfjell (MP), chairman of the responsible municipal board had the honor of introducing the choir and informing the audience about other commitments to diminish littering.

“Fundamentally, it is an issue of changing attitudes and to encourage all of us to put our litter where it belongs, in a dust bin. … Since Uppsala introduced smart dust bins in 2013, the visible litter in the City Park and other main parks has decreased by 20 percent. The work environment for the sanitary workers has improved and the usage of plastic bags has decreased by 80 percent.”

Read the press release in full, here. And listen to the singing trash cans here:

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