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Copenhagen Contemporary presents a vast installation by Céleste Boursier-Mougenot
Celeste Boursier-Mougenot, from here to ear , 2016. Photo: Anders Sune Berg.

COPENHAGEN.- This winter, French contemporary artist and composer Céleste Boursier-Mougenot is presenting his monumental installation from here to ear in one of the industrial exhibition halls at Copenhagen Contemporary. Boursier-Mougenot has won worldwide recognition with his vast, acoustic installations that take their starting point in nature and the rhythms of everyday life – two aspects that are also evident in the work now being shown at CC.

A 600-m2 hall has been transformed into a giant walk-through aviary where 88 living zebra finches live. The aviary is equipped with sand, plants and nesting places – and, very importantly, with eighteen bass guitars and electric guitars arranged horizontally on stands. Audiences are invited to walk around inside this living installation, watching as the birds flit around and perch on the stings of the instruments as if they were cables suspended between city roofs or branches in a forest. The song of the finches and the random sounds created as they perch on the electric instruments fill the space. The exhibition hall is transformed into a concert hall as the bird’s activities give rise to experimental ambient music that intensifies and changes in accordance with the dynamics between exhibition visitors and the finches. Like a permanent warm-up to a rock concert, without beginning or end, suspending time. from here to ear offers an immersive experience where all senses are activated and challenged. As one of Boursier-Mougenot’s major masterpieces, the work has been shown in various versions in art institutions across the world – always adapted to each specific site.

Céleste Boursier-Mougenot is partly inspired by the great American composer and Fluxus artist John Cage and his work with sounds from everyday life. Using chance as a principle and as a creative force, Boursier-Mougenot creates works on the basis of everyday objects and phenomena: large vats containing hundreds of white porcelain bowls that ring out as they collide in the turquoise water (clinamen, 2013); cherry pits tumble down from the ceiling, creating drum solos as they hit a drum kit on the floor (aura, 2015); an indoor channel in Palais de Tokyo invites audiences to paddle around the exhibition in a boat while the sounds of the water is played back as feedback in the room (acquaalta, 2015), and mobile pine trees created for the French pavilion in Venice: the trees move to catch the light and create harmonies of sounds based on input from their surroundings (rêvolutions, 2015). 2015)

Céleste Boursier-Mougenot was born in 1961 in Nice, France. He now works and lives in Sète, France. Originally a trained composer, Boursier-Mougenot works with acoustic installations in his art. In recent years he has had solo exhibitions at important venues such as Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal, Montréal: Palais de Tokyo, Paris: National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne; Museum of Contemporary Art Massachusetts, Amherst; Hangar Bicocca, Milan; Barbican Art Gallery, London; Pinacothèque, Sao Paulo. He represented France at the 2015 Venice Biennial.

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