The European Biennial of Contemporary Art

28 June 31 October 2014

St. Petersburg, Russia The State Hermitage Museum

Amy Pieterse

Technique: hip-hop, music, street poetry
Location: The ‘Transit’ Social Centre for children

Hip-Hop - a special synthetic music genre, moving in the direction of modern poetry, which arose at the intersection of jazz, soul, reggae and rock 'n' roll. A distinctive feature of hip-hop is its musical and poetic language: hip-hop is a unique genre in which the spoken word can obtain poetic status without having to include any specific literary treatments. Broadly speaking, hip-hop is a vivid example of a democratic genre - open to a wide variety of people, a different sort of public art which opposes hierarchies, elitism and the rigidity of a creative environment.

As part of the workshop children living in the orphanage "Transit", visited Paola Pivi’s project GRRR JAMMING SQUEAK…, a fully equipped recording studio, located in the Sergei Kuryokhin Center for Contemporary Culture. Together with singer, poet and specialist in contemporary music Amy Pieterse, the children were asked to create their own hip-hop compositions in which they would be able to open up and tell you about themselves in a language that they considered "real" and "their own". The workshop, reminisced about how hip-hop was born and in what language street poetry in different decades of the 20th century was spoken as well as the ability to overcome social boundaries with the music genre.

The next day, workshop participants visited the Biennial exhibition in the General Staff Building with thematic tours.