Catherine Yass Premieres Aeolian Piano
Turner-nominated artist Catherine Yass came to the East Tower residency project with an ambitious idea: suspend a grand piano high above Television Centre and hear it sing.
Now for the first time, her finished film is screening at RIBA on Tuesday 28th February.
Pop in and watch it for free, or book tickets to hear Yass in conversation with our programme manager Alice Cicolini, as well as Robert Seatter, Head of BBC History, and Francesca Hughes, architect and author.
Yass is known for her film and photography works. She has a knack for catching buildings unawares. Her 2002 film Flight was shot from a remote-controlled helicopter flown over BBC Broadcasting House in a single take, while Descent lowered a camera upside down through morning mist at a Canary Wharf building site.
Aeolian Piano follows in these steps, developed in partnership with the artist's long-term collaborator, the architectural producer Francesca Hughes.
Yass says, “Aeolian Piano is one of a series of eight works commissioned by White Noise, signalling the departure of the BBC from its iconic site in west London which is now under redevelopment. The film, showing a grand piano suspended by a crane and floating in a circle high above the BBC Television Centre, pays homage to this visionary building. The circular structure of the TV Centre embraced the world and reached out to it, with the BBC aspiring to be a global voice. It also looked inward, suggesting the BBC as 'the living room of the nation'.
"The piano in some way stands for the arts which the BBC does so much to promote, and for the freedom of expression which is so fundamental to the BBC and needs to be defended at all costs. Over the BBC TV Centre the sound of wind playing in the strings is ethereal and otherworldly. It is disembodied, fragile and vulnerable, singing a swan song to the departed BBC below.”
The photos above are taken from Nick Ballon's series documenting the day of filming.
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