The back of a cello may be seen suspended at the top of a corner by a 3-metre long spike, which appears to rest naturally on the ground. Violoncelo preparado [Prepared cello]is the title of this installation by Ricardo Jacinto, an artist with a background in architecture and music, who deliberately quotes the “Prepared piano” by the American avant-garde composer John Cage. We are therefore referred to an instrument whose harmonic and tonal scale is altered by the intrusion of "preparative objects". Cage used wood, rubber, and metal wedges between the strings of the piano. Jacinto also uses a stringed instrument (one with which he had a special bond because it was his first cello), but prepares it so as to insure that it cannot be played: he greatly increases the length of the spike and places it in a delicate balance more than 3 metres high, facing away from the viewer.

Just as Cage instructed in 4'33 " – an audacious piece composed "for any instrument or combination of instruments" – that for 4 minutes and thirty-three seconds precisely the instrument or instruments should not be played, so does Jacinto emphasize the surrounding sounds produced, not by the instrument which is made into an object of contemplation, but by the setting which it inhabits.

This work took part of the artist’s solo exhibition curated by Sérgio Mah that took place at the Centro de Artes Visuais, Coimbra,  between December 2018 and March 2019.

Ricardo Jacinto
Violoncelo preparado
2005
Instalação
Violoncelo e varão em aço inox
428 cm x 45 cm
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