Le sens de la mesure
sound installation with 5 speakers

exhibition L’emprise du lieu, Domaine Pommery, Reims, 2007 (cur. Daniel Buren)

Le sens de la mesure (Das richtige Maß) – with 5 speakers and German subtitles
exhibition Best of Kunstpreis Robert Schuman, Kunstakademie, Trier, 2007

Le sens de la mesure (Sense of proportions) – bilingual Fr./En. with 6 speakers
exhibition Various Small Fires, MA Curating, Royal College of Art, London, 2007

Le sens de la mesure (Sense of proportions) – bilingual Fr./En. with 2 speakers
Sunday Art Fair, Motive Gallery, London, 2010
exhibition A Fold in the Fabric, LMAKprojects Gallery, New York, 2006
solo exhibition Audio in the elevator, Art in General, New York, 2006 (cur. Anthony Marcellini)

version with 1 speaker
exhibition Best of Prix d’Art Robert Schuman, École des Beaux-Arts, Metz, 2008
exhibition Les heures claires, MONUM, Villa Savoye, Poissy, 2002 (cur. Frank Lamy)


version with 5 speakers

The installation called Le sens de la mesure consists of repeated fragments of sound that permeate and create links to one another as they resonate in the space. It has no beginning and no end: you can’t go around it. It consists of voice, sounds and silences played through five speakers arranged at opposite end of two sections of the space: on one side, a speaker standing on a pedestal plays the voice. On the other, four speakers on the ground mark off a section and play the other sounds.
The voice is a fixed point that is already audible in the galleries in the surrounding spaces. The visitor comes to it by ear, and truly understands the meaning of the words after reaching the installation (the natural acoustic of the site produces this simple effect). The voice: a woman speaking of her disrupted relationship with time, with orientation and with measure and proportions. A simple long sentence that plays fragment by fragment, interrupted by silences of varying lengths. The length of the silences corresponds to the space: the natural reverberation of the site, how far the sound carries, the way the work breathes the space.
The sounds playing on the four other speakers are concrete, musical and indeterminate: sequences of a few juxtaposed seconds, interrupted, repeated. They are also marked by silences, instituting a dialog with the voice (in between the sentence), but also with the other sounds produced naturally or accidentally in the site (though unintentional mimicry and counterpoint).


excerpt 1 with 5 speakers



version with 5 haut-parleurs and subtitles

Le sens de la mesure (Das richtige Maß).
This version with German translation is located in an H-shaped space: one central part and four peripheral sides. Two acoustic perspectives are produced ready to be listened to:  a background and a figure. 
In the central part, a speaker is on a pedestal, slightly off the centre: the figure. In the peripheral parts, four speakers are set up on the floor and turned towards the ceiling. They delimit a field: the background. The background and the figure interact according to some hidden logic.

Somewhere, in the periphery, a video screen hanging on the wall shows the written and synchronized translation of the words. German translation by Ruth Kaaserer.

Kunstakademie, Trier, 2007 – photos D.P.


bilingual version French/English with 6 speakers

Le sens de la mesure (Sense of proportions).
Bilingual and musical version of the installation. A few steps away from the French voice, the addition of a translator’s voice (English translation in reported speech between commentary and litterality).
The installation is located within two levels. It structures two acoustic perspectives and divides up the listening into two times: a background and a figure. On the ground floor, four speakers hang on the walls (concrete sounds broken with silences). In the basement, two other speakers mounted on a pedestal do not face each other; the second one (voice of translator) is oriented towards the first (in French) which, to its turn, is oriented towards the middle section of the space
The sounds from the first level, which can be heard in the basement as coming from a distance, take on the aspect of some underlayer which would remotely interact with the voices.
Traduction orale en anglais de Peter O’Brien.


sketch for a first option with speakers on the ground

extrait 2 bilingue français / anglais

excerpt 2 bilingual version French/English




Royal College of Art, London, 2007 – photos 1-4-7 David Pearson / 2-3 Dominic Sweeny / 5-6 Laurent Montaron


bilingual version French/English with 2 speakers

Le sens de la mesure (Sense of proportions).
For this version of the bilingual version, the two voices have been gathered on two speakers, mounted on a pedestal and in a non symmetrical position.

Sunday Art Fair, Motive Gallery, London, 2010 – photo Andy Keate


LMAKprojects Gallery, New York, 2006  – photos D.P.


version with 1 speaker

First version of the installation called Le sens de la mesure, for one voice and silences.
A unique speaker on a pedestal like a specific dot in the space. Central spot, a strategic place from where the voice can be heard everywhere in the building. Dotted voice radiating and ruling the surroundings (for the listening audience).

excerpt 3 with voice only




1-3 École des Beaux-Arts, Metz, 2008 – photos D.P. / 4 Villa Savoye, Poissy, 2002 – photo Marc Domage





transcription of the bilingual version, Royal College of Art, exhibition catalogue, London, 2007, Fr./En
texts by Ellen De Wachter, and by Christophe Gallois, catalogue of the exhibition Various Small Fires, London, 2007, En
text by D. Petitgand, catalogue of the exhibition L’emprise du lieu, H.S. Beaux-Arts Mag / Pommery Reims, 2007, Fr./En.
text by Sara Riesman, catalogue of the exhibition Fold in the Fabric, LMAKprojects, New York, 2006, En.
text by Lauren O’Neill-Butler, press article artforum.com, New York, 2006, En.