The Moon Will Teach You

Contour Biennale, Mechelen, Polyphonyc Worlds: Justice as Medium, Curated by Natasha Ginwala, 2017

Audiences enter the attic of Mechelen’s historic Salmon House, a darkened space where the arched support beams have been doubled with wooden copies. These wooden elements are connected, by a system of weights, to a metallic apparatus that resembles a printing machine and that is placed near the only window in the space.

An operator/performer sets the system in motion by pushing pendular counterweights. The building begins to creak. The slow shift of weight in the system makes for a plate near the window to slowly be raised and eventually darken the entire space. The change of light reveals a video projection with a series of riddled inscriptions which are found in renaissance polyphonic music scores of this region. The riddles were part of a manuscript practice that introduced musical, social and political commentary into the music scores, and that was lost with the appearance of the printing press.

The installation is accompanied by music composed based on the principles of polyphonic harmony.

Photos: Kristof Vrancken


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