Music Reconstruction
Rafael Montañez Ortiz, 1987

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Since the late 1950s, Rafael Montanez Ortiz has created a variety of destruction art pieces in several forms; first in performance and sculpture, and later in his career also film and video. The characteristic destructive method in his early works is also applied to his film and video works, where he experimented to “recreate” entirely new dimensions between time and space. The installation ‘Music Reconstruction’ is one of the computer/laser/video works that Ortiz intensively produced since the early 80s by transforming footage to a laser disc player in order to create stammering images. Three monitors placed around the center of the room show fragments of several musical recordings in rapid iteration. The three video channels show fifteen separate muicians playing an instrument - including a cellist, a trumpeter, and a cymbalist. They appear in varying trios that are never the same, because of the different lengths of the three channels. The looping and stammering video produces jarring noises, with disorienting and disturbing effects, yet allowing the viewer to be caught in this temporal loop. The disintegration of time and space in “Music Reconstruction” provides the viewer with an arena, which significantly challenges established temporal expectations in the face of the artist’s destructive aesthetic.
Netherlands Media Art Institute, Sachie Kikuchi
[This installation is featured on the DVD series "Installations 1975-2006" (2007).]
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  • Date: 1987
  • Type: Installation
  • Copyrights: All rights reserved (c) LIMA
  • Keywords: installation - multi-channel video installation, time, music (subject), deconstruction, destruction