Inside Fortepiano

Video Artist: Alexandra Dementieva
Video Genre: Country: Year: Duration: 8 min 12 sec


The Insight Fortepiano project explores the dynamic relationship between image and sound perception. Piano improviser– Aki Hoffmann

Accompanying a film or a theatre performance, music traditionally plays a secondary role, usually following the visual development. In the opera, or today’s music videos, visual sequence follows the music. Aleksandra focuses on the most musical of instruments, reveals its hidden physical aspects through images – both for the musician and his audience.

The performance explores architecture of acoustics with three small video cameras put inside the instrument. They film from three different angles and transmit the image first to a computer where the video becomes monochrome with high contrast, and then to a screen in front of the musician. It allows him to observe and control the images during his improvisation, creating a graphic drawing that changes under the influence of music. Sometimes it resembles a moonscape, a wide field, a city from afar, or outlines of strange people or animals.

Choice of camera angles and manipulations of light, colour and contrast of images with a mixer board creates a film. And the musician translates musical harmony and rhythm into image, coordinating his movements with the visualization. Thus, the artist and the musician work in one synchronized effort.

Alexandra Dementieva

Artist. Born in 1960 in Moscow, USSR. Studied journalism and fine arts in Moscow (USSR) and Brussels (Belgium). Her principal interest as an artist is the use of social psychology, perception theory and behaviorism in her installations as well as the development of film narration through the point of view of a subjective camera. She has been an active participant of the CYLAND Media Art Lab since 2008. Professor at the Royal Academy of Arts (Brussels, Belgium). Dementieva received the first prize for the best monochannel video at VAD Festival (Girona, Spain). She is a participant of numerous exhibitions in major Russian and international cultural institutions, including Hermitage Museum (St. Petersburg, Russia), Moscow Museum of Contemporary Art (Russia), Centro de la Imagen (Mexico City, Mexico) and others. Lives and works in Brussels, Belgium.