How can a song or composition become a key-image in a protest movement? A performance arouses music, brings it to life, and the most important, makes it visual. Especially when it is performed in a peculiar situation. When this gets captured on a photograph it can be passed on and on through social media and develop a life of one’s own.
As many protest movements had their key-pictures and icons such as the “Tank Man” of the Tiananmen-Massacre in China in 1989 or the “Standing Man” on Taksim Square in Turkey in 2013, the Ukrainian Maidan movement had “The Piano Player”. An anonymous and collective music performance on blue-yellow-coloured pianos which was initially addressed towards the police and then was repeated all over Maidan and the whole country.
For the purpose of the seminar asking for the (political) potential of art and aesthetics the presentation will show the medial development of this key-image considering its roots in art history and similar protest symbols. Furthermore the question of its political message is going to be elucidated, showing the different audiences receiving different statements from the players of the piano.