Sun Aug 8 | 8pm

Performance Art | Mountain View Cemetery

08.08 8:00

QAF and Full Circle First Nations Performance presents Piano Burning, building on Annea Lockwood’s classic twentieth-century conceptual music composition. In the history of performance art, piano burnings have served a variety of purposes; this particular presentation will be in the context of recognition, renewal and reconciliation, reframing the fire that engulfs the piano (the peak achievement of European Industrialist Culture) as a metaphor for the crucible of our striving toward decolonization.

SD Holman and Margo Kane, Artistic Director Talking Stick Festival, curate a newly commissioned piece by Lil’wat composer Russell Wallace and a dress created by Métis designer Evan Ducharme, reclaiming the transformative power of banned spirit fire from Indigenous cultures. Pianist Rachel Kiyo Iwaasa will perform on the piano (while it burns). The conflagration is amplified, to allow listeners to hear a variety of pitched and unpitched sounds as the piano strings heat and break.

Full Circle co-presents and acts as curatorial consultant. PiA and Full Circle enjoy a long partnership that includes co-working space, advocacy, and co-presentations.

We draw upon guideline recommendations and calls from the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and The Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG). Article 11 of UNDRIP describes Indigenous peoples’ right to ”practise and revitalize their cultural traditions and customs. This includes the right to maintain, protect and develop the past, present and future manifestations of their cultures, such as…designs, ceremonies, technologies and visual and performing arts and literature”. The 18.10 of the MMIWG Report calls for “safe and dedicated ceremony and cultural places and spaces for [Two-Spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex and asexual] 2SLGBTQ+ youth and adults, and to advocate for 2SLGBTQ+ inclusion in all cultural spaces.”

Annea Lockwood’s Piano Burning instructions (1968 London); 

Set upright piano (not a grand) in an open space with the lid closed. 

Spill a little lighter fluid on a twist of paper and place inside, near the pedals. 

Light it. Balloons may be stapled to the piano. 

Play whatever pleases you for as long as you can.

Featured artists:

Russell Wallace
Evan Ducharme
Rachel Kiyo Iwaasa