Honk Your Frumpet! [Practice Research Case Study]
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Schrag, A. (2019) Honk Your Frumpet! [Practice Research Case Study]. Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh.
Description: Art + Music was a collaboration between Kentucky College of Art and Design (KyCAD) and the Louisville Orchestra in which artists have been invited to respond to classical music pieces, ostensibly to widen engagement with the orchestra. I have been invited to respond to Pictures at an Exhibition (1874) by Modest Mussorgsky. The concert presents an example of some excellently talented musicians and beautiful, classical works: however it also has an embedded 'politics of access' which relates to questions of who can afford to attend such concerts. It also relates to a 'hierarchy of culture' that places western, 'high art' art the centre, and other cultural expressions as less valued or less supported. Considering the piece I have been invited to respond to - Pictures at an Exhibition - was developed after the composer Modest Mussorgsky saw a collection of his friend's many different paintings, I wanted to replicate the idea of a 'cultural plurality'. As such, I wanted to value the different cultural expressions in Louisville (and beyond!) and so have invited artists, musicians, cultural workers, witches, gardeners, and other citizens of the town of to respond to exactly the same piece of music at exactly the same time as the work is being played in the concert, except for their own context and their specific audiences. In this way, it complicate the ‘site’ of cultural production and rather than being commissioned to I was exploring how art could be a tool to question the assumptions that embedded into engagement and audience development strategies.