The Wire

The world's greatest print and online music magazine. Independent since 1982


Piano destroyed in legendary 1966 symposium to go on display at Tate

The surviving remnants of a piano thought to have been destroyed during artist Gustav Metzger's 1966 Destruction In Art Symposium in London, is on display at Tate Britain. The remains of the piano, found in the house where the original concert took place, was hacked apart by artist Raphael Montañez Ortiz during his Duncan Terrace Piano Destruction Concert.

The Destruction In Art Symposium set out to look at trends of destruction in Happenings and other art, trying to link it to wider social concerns. It also included participation from Yoko Ono, John Latham and Peter Weibel.

The remnants of the piano are on display at London's Tate Britain, part of the Art Under Attack exhibition that runs to 5 January, 2014.


I saw this event but at the Round House around 1966. The artist musician in full black suit and bow tie played the piano for some twenty minutes before carefully selecting strings to cut.The playing and cutting continued with sounded notes ab soundless keys still being played! Finally axes were brought to stage the total destructuon of the piano were beautifully scored in framed drawings in the gallery. I do not recall the artist musician but does not appear to be Rafael Ortiz from the images shown. Any one else with information of this exhausting and exstraordinary event event? John

Comments are closed for this article