#Newsflash | MoMA PS1 Opens a ‘Sonic Multimedia Project’ on June 1
BY QEDC It's In Queens
Brooklyn musician Gio Escobar was 21 in 2014, when he launched Children of the Corner. By 2016, the guitar-heavy performing group had morphed into Standing On The Corner, which released a self-titled album with jazzy vocals, machine-driven beats, spoken word, guitar strumming, sampling, and other tech effects (i.e. freeform suites).
Fast-forward to June 1, 2023, and Standing On The Corner is all in with the “sonic multimedia project” Seven Prepared Pianos for the Seven African Powers at MoMA PS1 in Long Island City. (It’ll run until Oct. 9.)
The exhibition brings together spiritual objects, modified instruments, and moving images. The centerpiece is an installation of seven pianos with symbolic objects inserted into their strings to create apparitional interventions. Cameras inside the instruments project footage in real time.
The installation will be activated during concerts that Standing On The Corner will offer on June 2, June 3, Sept. 8, and Sept. 9. (They all start at 7 pm.)
According to the organizers, the shows will harness each piano’s altered acoustics to summon the mysterious powers that possess them.
Located in a former public school building at 22-25 Jackson Ave., MoMA PS1 has an outdoor gallery, a two-story display room with high ceilings, and many creatively utilized nooks and crannies. (Yes, it’s affiliated with Manhattan’s Museum of Modern Art.) If traveling by subway, take the E, M, or 7 to Court Sq or the G to Court Sq or 21 St/Van Alst. By bus, take the B62 to 46th Ave.
Seven Prepared Pianos for the Seven African Powers is organized by MoMA PS1 Curator and Director of Curatorial Affairs Ruba Katrib. It received significant support from Michi Jigarjian of Rockaway Hotel fame.
Images: Courtesy of Gio Escobar