435 Ponti e qualche scorciatoia

3 Easy Pieces #2 - David Horvitz

Matilde and Lucio’s upcoming organ performances at the San Rocco Church:
21 June, (Festa della Musica) 11am
20 July, (Redentore) 6.30pm
21 September, 6.30pm
18 October, 6.30pm
25 November, 7pm

May 7 - November 25, 2019

Matilde and Lucio’s upcoming organ performances at the San Rocco Church:
21 June, (Festa della Musica) 11am
20 July, (Redentore) 6.30pm
21 September, 6.30pm
18 October, 6.30pm
25 November, 7pm

3 Easy Pieces is the title of three compositions penned by Igor Stravinsky. He composed the collection of pieces for four hands to teach small children how to play the piano. One is a waltz, another a polka and thirdly, a march. They give their name to a series of interventions in the heart of the public space in Venice, initiated by Lab’bel in 2015. This year, David Horvitz’s project, 435 Ponti e qualche scorciatoia, makes them particularly pertinent, since these three musical pieces resonate around the city.
At San Rocco Church, once a month, the pieces composed for the organ are played alternatively by two children, Matilde and Lucio, aged seven and eight years old.
At the Marco Polo High School of Music, the piano has been moved next to the window overlooking the Ponte delle Maravegie (Bridge of Marvels). Piano students come here every day to practice, sometimes playing 3 Easy Pieces.
The score, with instructions by the artist to open the window whenever the three pieces are being played, has been given to approximately 30 students who, upon returning home, have been instructed to play the pieces in the summer evenings, with their windows open onto the alleys and canals.
Therefore, if you happen to be in Venice and hear 3 Easy Pieces, you now know that most certainly there is a child playing them from behind an open window. Three pieces, three movements, three places for a poetic, random intervention that generates a form of listening as light as our own footsteps.

20 July, 8.30pm.
Reading of WHEN THE OCEAN SOUNDS on-board three boats sailing along the ephemeral bridge made for the Redentore Festival in Venice.

David Horvitz wrote the score WHEN THE OCEAN SOUNDS for human voices, intended to mimic the sound of the sea.
The work is linked to an idea of maritime biologist Rachel Carson, who wrote that the percentage of salt in the sea is equal to the salinity of our blood. This idea supports a theory that all life comes from the sea. Imagine the first life forms, with porous skin or cell walls, through which the sea could freely flow into and out of their small bodies. At a certain moment, however, these life forms evolve. They come out of the sea and develop a different type of skin, one that allows them to keep liquids within their bodies. These liquids are ultimately seawater, and so the creatures – as do we – carry the sea with them, no matter where they go. In a way, transcribing and performing the sounds of the sea are exercises in listening and meditating aloud. At the same time, they are exercises in imagining or remembering that we are actually part of the sea.
The Festa del Redentore (festival) exists since 21 July 1577. It was designed as a celebration of life, after Venice survived the 1575-1576 plague epidemic that caused the death of almost 60,000 Venetians, despite the precautionary measures undertaken to contain it.
The floating bridge of barges that connects the Zattere Quays to Giudecca Island is just one example of the celebrations.

And ongoing:
Sorbetto Al Mare Adriatico at Gelateria Alaska.
Calle Larga dei Bari, 1159, Santa Croce.
Postcards to be found at many kiosks around town.
Follow the cats, guided tours conducted by Elena Degan following the itineraries of David Horvitz in Venice can be booked here :
This tour requires a fee depending on the group size.

More events in the map available for download at the bottom of the page

435 Ponti e qualche scorciatoia
(435 bridges and some shortcuts)

435 Ponti e qualche scorciatoia is the second piece form the series 3 Easy Pieces, an art in public spaces project produced by Lab’Bel for Venice. The first one was Concertino Unisono* by Michael Staab and took place in Saint Mark’s Square in 2015.

This project is conceived in close collaboration with Venetians, local institutions, craftspeople, residents and musicians. In this project we can see the heritage of the Fluxus movement whose energy permeates the entire series.

435 Ponti e qualche scorciatoia is a work by David Horvitz, a poet and artist living in Los Angeles.

The entire city of Venice is imagined as the site of the exhibition, where things happen, disappear and reappear…

The project is a wandering through the city, sometimes flooded in acqua alta, where only the bridges connecting the islands allow the city to be walkable. Wandering is an unwritten manifest on slowness.

It is a desired program, dreamed of, different from the ‘dérives’ of the Situationists who used walking to shift the immediate experience of the city, to reinvent a subject. Here walking goes beyond its own purpose of arriving at a destination; it is what we use to sketch the form of the city according to our own breath. Keeping the city standing through our own movement.

Does a visitor with only one day in Venice have the time to wander the city? Does the Biennale art-addicted wildlife visit Saint Mark’s Basilica to admire the art there or in the church of Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari? Do they have time to listen to stories about Venice and its bells?

Since the birth of Venice, time has been measured in a different way: day started at sunset, the first hour of the day was the first hour after sundown. Today most of the hands on the city’s mechanical clocks no longer work but time can still be measured by the dilated pupils of cats’ eyes. A practice once used by Japanese ninja, or so David tells me.

David Horvitz will do a performative walk over all of Venice’s bridges by night. How much time do you need to walk its 435 bridges? How many shortcuts can you take? Local tourist guides will tell this story, and take you to a place where

a granita tastes like the Adriatic Sea.

During his stay in the city, the artist will develop a constellation of projects in collaboration with Venetians: tourist guides, pipe organ players, artisans, and ice-cream makers, which will be activated during the period of the Biennale.

Where can this project be found?

It all depends if you have the time to take a moment out of your hectic life to go somewhere, it’s in this in-between moment that you will find it… Either on a postcard from a kiosk or on the paper used to wrap your zabaione fritelle (do

you even know what ‘zabaione’ is?) You might hear it in Stravinsky’s 3 Easy Pieces emanating from the pipe organ

of a nearby church, played by children.

See you soon in Venice!

A presto!

Silvia Guerra,
Curator of 435 Ponti e qualche scorciatoia and Artistic Director of Lab’Bel


3 Easy Pieces

3 Easy Pieces is an ensemble of performative proposals with the city of Venice as its backdrop, occurring over different editions of the Venice Biennale of Contemporary Art. The title is a tribute to an ensemble of teaching pieces for the piano composed by Igor Stravinsky, who was buried, in accordance with his last wishes, in the cemetery on the island of San Michele. Three performances, four hands – those of an artist and a curator who accompanies the former in the realization of this project. Each of these interventions attempts to take the pulse of the ducal city within the context of the creative energy that surrounds the Biennale. While relying on a profound knowledge of the city, its inhabitants and networks, the project also advocates – not without a certain impertinence and inquiring spirit – discretion, evanescence and lightness, in contrast to some of the imposing and spectacular productions generally produced for the Biennale. The series 3 Easy Pieces invites us to reconnect with the uniquely easy-going pace that characterizes this city by taking a moment to breathe deeply in opposition to the frenetic toing and froing that characterizes mass cultural tourism and the institutional rationale driving art and its market. Two tempos, three movements – like a detour, a digression…

Laurent Fiévet,
Director of Lab’Bel