sound installation with 16 speakers
L’écoute flottante (The suspended listening)
version with 2 screens for French and English subtitles
exhibition L’écoute flottante, gb agency, Paris, 2022
Les heures creuses
On a large surface, 16 speakers are fixed to the wall at different heights.
Multiple voices mix in a mural of a conversation. In diminishing order, words are fragmented and truncated —from sentence to word to syllable until ultimately to breathing, snickers, coughs, humming and exhalations. As with the speakers, the voices are spread across the wall in a constellation and circulate from one place to another according to their own twists and turns.
The short sentences sound like excerpts from stories, conversations and other multiple contexts. The voices appear in a void and are punctuated with sporadic silences. Each silence, an abrupt and sudden halt, is loaded with the tension that emerges upon the suspension of human presence and its possible return.
version with subtitles on 2 screens
Two adjacent monitors, one for French, one for English, transcribe synchronously the collection of audible words. But only those that are intelligible. At the beginning I only intended to provide an English translation, but I realized that a visual transcription of the phrases was useful for everyone, including Francophones. So I translated from French to French, and focused on the gap between listening and reading. The appearance on screen of what one is hearing becomes a hook for hearing, a support, at the risk of redundancy or dissonance.
Translation in English by Miles Hankin, Chet Wiener and Marisol Rodriguez.
photos Aurélien Mole
– interview with Églantine Mercader, on the occasion of exhibition gb agency, 2022