ADORNING ONESELF WITH BORROWED PLUMES
“Fremde im Prättigau“ – a Hasena project, Dalvazza 2004
Over the course of three weeks, from September 18 to October 10, 2004, Klara Schilliger and Valerian Maly realized their Install Action “Adorning Oneself with Borrowed Plumes”. On September 18, in a carpenter ’ s workshop in Ascharina, as evening turned to dusk, they publically performed – as well as they possibly could - the song “ Gute Nacht ” from Schubert ’ s “Winterreise” (“fremd bin ich eingezogen, fremd zieh ich wieder aus” – “As a stranger I arrived, As a stranger again I leave”). During the recital, the piano is gradually dismantled into individual pieces and completely taken apart : key by key, hammer by hammer, string by string, large parts are sawed into smaller ones. The song is repeated until all of the piano parts are packed into several knapsacks. The performance comes to an end with the artists moving on. Klara Schilliger and Valerian Maly now wander out from Ascharina in different directions, all the while searching for bird feathers. At each place where they find a feather, they leave behind, in exchange, one of the piano parts bearing the inscription “fremd bin ich eingezogen, fremd zieh ich wieder aus”.
The action/wandering continues until all of the piano parts have been exchanged with bird feathers, the two performers wearing bird costumes – “adorned with borrowed plumes”. For many years, – scattered throughout Prättigau - piano parts with the inscription “fremd bin ich eingezogen, fremd zieh ich wieder aus” will still be found.
“dorning Oneself with Borrowed Plumes” is in reminiscence of Franz Schubert and of Philip Corner ’ s fluxus piece “piano activities” (1962), in which the score consists of only one instruction: to elicit sounds other than melodies from the piano.