05/01/2009 20' 38''
"Facsimile for a demo", 1997

Curated by Juan Muñoz

Between 2000 and 2001, Juan Muñoz began working on the idea for his last radio work, which was left unfinished due to his sudden death, and was completed by Alberto Iglesias. After the opening of "Double Bind”, Muñoz returned to one of his old obsessions, which was also in a sense connected to the "Building for Music" script: architecture conceived to allow high-quality music listening, in the form of an echo-free room. At the same time, Muñoz went back to patents he had found during the days he'd spent reading at the New York Public Library. The texts of the patents talk about materials and construction techniques and forms that can prevent echo inside built spaces.

"'Building for Music' and 'A Registered Patent both deal with music, they talk about music. You could almost say that in the first piece the remains of the building are the music. The music isn't just there to illustrate a story, it is also a subject and plays a testimonial role.

The text for 'A Registered Patent' is a legal patent for a specific object – a box containing a small percussionist that could end up disappearing at a given moment. The score is the percussionist playing, and he plays very small instruments that also mirror the object's small size. At the time, I was working on a movie with John Malkovich. The three of us met up and John thought it would be great to do a piece together. The piece we were going to do was for radio, but it was to be performed live in London to coincide with the exhibition at the Tate Modern. It would have been one the exhibition's closing events. But then Juan died, and John Malkovich and I wanted to do the piece anyway. I went to John's house in the south of France, in Provence, with recording equipment and the text. […]

Patents are formulated in a highly repetitive way, they are almost mannerist in their repetition. The repetition is required to delimit all the legal terminology. They have a highly overlapping structure. […] I ended up making a radio piece because Juan had died, but it was originally meant to be a piece for theatre as well as radio. Given that Malkovich was there, it would have been a very special production". Alberto Iglesias.*

*Fragment from a conversation with Bartomeu Marí. January 2005.

SpecialsJuan MuñozJuan MuñozarchitectureJohn Malkovich Alberto Iglesias