Ana Prvački spent hours looking, wandering, and playing her flute in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum galleries during her December 2009 residency. These encounters led her to delve further into a sound work that she had created for the Centre Pompidou in Paris and the High Line in New York. Performing Daily Practice was conceived at the Museum as a series of morning music and vocal rehearsals held in the galleries. Prvački's idea was to invite students from the Berklee College of Music to perform their informal practicing scales, tonal exercises, and trills while roaming the galleries and exploring the visual and acoustic environment of the museum. The project came about in collaboration with professor Neil Leonard (sax) and four students—Katie Bilinski (base guitar), Julia Easterlin (voice), Christian Li (Piano), and Rose Seyfried (voice).
Over three months, the group came on Tuesday mornings to perform their routines in the galleries before the Museum opened. They also played two public sessions during which visitors could experience the sounds echoing throughout the Museum while they viewed the galleries and artworks. The students chronicled their exploration and the impact it had on their practice. Their accounts were published as a small booklet and distributed on the days they performed.
In 2011 and 2012, over six months, Leonard returned with five new students, Alexander Baboian (guitar), Lillia Betz (melodica), Jamie Billings (flute), Kerry Leva (voice), Shea Rose (voice), and TJ Usyian (voice), to again roam and explore the visual and acoustic environment of the galleries. Again the students wrote about their journey and posted photos, this time on Tumblr.
In creating Performing Daily Practice, Prvacki made full use of the characteristics of the space to create a new aural experience of the museum and to alter visitors’ perceptions of space.
Says Prvacki, “The Gardner Museum is a very special place. We might think that it operates as an enormous instrument that can be played in many ways, or as a stage, a succession of galleries forming a lyrical set.”
Ana Prvacki (b. 1976, Serbia) is an artist whose work draws on daily practices and social research. Her interventions are meant to transform the viewer’s perception and experience of daily life and routine, providing solutions to our everyday problems, worries, and fears. She explores social anxiety and the comedic potential of faux pas, as well as the sociopolitical significance of welcoming the “other.” Prvacki was an Artist-in-Residence at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles where she developed “Greeting Committee,” a participatory project about gestures of hospitality, civility, and etiquette. She has shown in numerous venues including SMART Museum in Chicago, Bloomberg in NY, Lombard-Freid Projects in NY, Art in General in NY, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea in Turin, the Sydney Biennial, the Singapore Biennial, and the Turin Triennale. Prvacki is based in Los Angeles. Her works is in private and public collections and institutions such as MOCA in Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Country Museum of Art (LACMA), and Castello di Rivoli.