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Turning ‘Loom into a String Instrument’, Mexican Artist Conjures up ‘Sound Magic’ at Biennale

In Entertainment
December 14, 2018

Mexican artist Tania Candiani gave a brief but emphatic performance on the inaugural day of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale by replacing the strings of a loom with that of the sitar, thus highlighting the way everyday sounds impact humans.

Collaborating with compatriot artist Carlos Chinchillas and Kochi’s Ranesh Reju (guitarist) and Vinay Murali (violin-maker), the team at Aspinwall House went on to transform a traditional weaving loom into a musical instrument with strings.

For the project, Candiani used a local loom in disrepair condition. “The idea was to showcase the slowly dying art of handloom weaving in Kerala,” she said on Wednesday, having replaced the loom threads with sitar strings. “We ensured we won’t tamper with the aesthetics of the loom. So we used the same technique and design to reproduce and repurpose to the logic of sound to produce music.”

Candiani thus gave new life and function, through sound, to an old machine — in this case, the loom. “For me, everything is music. I believe music has the power to quieten everything else that sounds to impose. Music has always been a part of my growing years,” adds the Mexican, whose father used to play the guitar.

The artist’s work explores the possibilities of technology, backed by varied investigations related to time and sound as well as mechanisms connected to narration. Candiani is planning to invite fellow artists to perform. “Viewers are free to access my work and create music. I also invite other musicians performing at the Biennale to come and join in loom project,” she says.