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Emak Bakia is made from the neck of a cello and loose horse hair. Man Ray found the original cello piece in a fleamarket. As it looked old, he felt the urge to point humorously to its age and gave it flowing white hair – the horse hair that would be used in a bow. The hair gives the piece a disconcerting vitality. The title derives from an avant-garde film or ’cine-poem’ of the same name that Man Ray made in 1926. In the Basque language it means ’leave me alone’.

August 2004