released June 21, 2012
WATERS AND CAGES by Peter Machajdík
Whilst Peter Machajdík’s sound environment WATERS AND CAGES, a harmonious combination of various components, reflects both the socioeconomic demands and the goals of today's civilization, at the same time it stimulates thinking about environmental and political problems.
In the installation, involving the visual and auditory realms, four cages include bowls filled with water from some of the most polluted rivers of the world, including the Yangtze, Mekong, Salween, Ganges, Indus, Danube, La Plata, Rio Grande and the Nile, hang in the exhibition room. The cages symbolise the changes in the organic components of the ecosystem, especially the risks to faunal assemblages, but also the changes in the inorganic components of the environment. They deal with the question of extinction of animal species, especially birds, mainly as a result of ecological degradation. The cage stands as a representation of the diminution of bird species, as well as drawing attention to the suppression of human rights and the imprisonment of many political activists in different parts of the world.
At the same time WATERS AND CAGES is a homage to John Cage, whose works and ideas influenced the entire art scene of the second half of the twentieth and the subsequent first twelve years of the twenty-first century.
This year is the hundredth anniversary of Cage’s birth; it is also twenty years since he visited Bratislava, Machajdík’s birth-place.
Those coming to see the installation will hear the notes C - A - G - E coming from four speakers, one mounted in each of the four cages, and a rhythmic composition will arise from the different time durations of each note. Two other speakers set up in the room will play, every four minutes and thirty three seconds, a sound collage (which itself lasts four minutes and thirty three seconds) of various interviews with and speeches by John Cage.