MY FATHER THE PIANO: A HISTORY OF FATHER AND SON

BY JAMES HAZEL

Recently, my parents had to urgently move out of their rental home and the decaying student piano prevented this. My father suggested that we deconstruct the piano and dispose of it. The shared act posed dissonance; my artistic and cultural aspirations within a bourgeois cultural milieu; and my father’s enmeshment within fragmented and precarious working class histories. Throughout this process, I heard my father’s groans and strains; the piano wood cracking; the deep, dark resonance of the strings reflecting these sounds back; a father-becoming-piano and piano-becoming-father.

Within this work, the materials and documentation from this process are reassembled into a three part, text and sound installation. Central to this work is the notion of the “hammer” which strikes the strings of the piano, and the hammer my father used to “play” and “deconstruct” the piano – during our sort-of-duet; ultimately, mediating and working-through conceived and socially imposed differences and notions of social-class through collaboration and co-making.

WHERE

Norman Park Substation

WHEN

April 2020

Image by Tina Stefanou. 

THE ARTIST

James Hazel

James Hazel is an emerging Australian installation artist, writer and composer. Drawing from sound, noise, bricolage & text materials, Hazel views his work as a strategy of ritualisation, exploring the historiography of the classical music score, (dis)located forms of intimacy in late-stage capitalism, social space, precariousness, the ontological agency of objects in process, and the environment.

Artist website: jameshazel.net