Palazzo Strozzi

Tre Piccoli Studi sul potere, 2010
For video and flute, clarinet, cello sounds
Produced by Centro di Cultura Contemporanea Strozzina, Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi; Ex Novo Ensemble; Edison Studio. 
Translations by Anna Bissanti, “la Repubblica” (Obama); Francesco Cifariello Ciardi (Bush, Blair).

Fabio Cifariello Ciardi
Installation view, Centro di Cultura Contemporanea Strozzina, Firenze
Photo: Valentina Muscedra

On 19 March 2003, President Bush announced the beginning of the war in Iraq, "to disarm Iraq of weapons of mass destruction, to end Saddam Hussein's support for terrorism, and to free the Iraqi people". As an answer to the British involvement in the war, on 7 July 2005 a terrorist attack was carried out in the London underground which caused the death of 52 people. Tony Blair announced this tragedy from Scotland, breaking up the G8 meeting that was then taking place. On 6 April 2009, President Obama held a memorable speech at the University of Cairo in which he stressed the need to overcome negative stereotypes on the clash of civilizations after years of "fear and mistrust". Language is the chief means of political propaganda and is closely controlled to influence voters' opinions. We are only partly aware of the series of elements on the basis of which we formulate our judgement on a politician's reliability, and many are the factors that influence our perception of politicians, ranging from their physical characteristics to their way of dressing and gestures. Political leaders persuade citizens about their policies and legitimize their own power by means of linguistic performances marked by a wide range of rhetorical strategies which, combined, shape the language of power.
Cifariello Ciardi's work aims to explore the possibility of translating the rhetorical emphasis of politicians into music, thus emphasizing how in the context of political speeches the rhythm and "melody" of one's language also represent crucial elements for building consensus-searching strategies. Unlike other works by the author, in this case the sound underwent no electronic processing: each politician's voice was merely transcribed for a musical instrument.
Cifariello Ciardi observes that "often power speaks not so much to people's heads as to their stomachs. How so? Perhaps, also through the 'music' concealed in their speech". Tre Piccoli Studi sul Potere illustrates how images of power draw their strength not merely from what meets our gaze, but also from what becomes the object of our most deep-seated perceptions - via hearing, for instance - in a more efficient way. And one harder to decrypt.

Tre Piccoli Studi sul potere, 2010

A composer of instrumental and electroacoustic music, over the years Fabio Cifariello Ciardi has developed an artistic approach focused on perception, music and the use of technology applied to various acoustic phenomena that tell of our present - such as the translation into sounds of the financial trends of the stock exchange.
Tre Piccoli Studi sul Potere (Three small studies on power) is based on an accurate instrumental transcription of the inflections and rhythms of the spoken voice. A software developed by the author is here used to "unmask" the music concealed in three famous speeches delivered by politicians George W. Bush, Tony Blair and Barack Obama and devoted to war, to its consequences in terms of terrorism and to the search for a desirable solution.

inizio pagina
Tina Barney
Christoph Brech
Fabio Cifariello Ciardi
Clegg & Guttmann
Nick Danziger
Rineke Dijkstra
Jim Dow
Bureau d’etudes
Francesco Jodice
Annie Leibovitz
Helmut Newton
Trevor Paglen
Martin Parr
Daniela Rossell
Wang Qingsong
Jules Spinatsch
Hiroshi Sugimoto
The Yes Men
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1.10.2010 – 23.01.2011