L'écoute essaimée

Félix Blume | Dominique Petitgand

21st May – 2nd October 2022

In 2021-2022, Félix Blume and Dominique Petitgand were the guest artists of the Chambre d'écoute (Listening Room), a permanent exhibition space for sound art in the museum. During the exhibition, their artistic practice extends to the permanent collection rooms in the form of sound installations. 

Félix Blume
Jacques Réattu's studio hosts the swarm sound installation comprising 250 small loudspeakers, each reproducing the sound of a bee in full flight. Suspended in the exhibition space, these sound devices offer several listening experiences from group to individual. Visitors are invited to come as close as possible to listen to these little creatures and therefore become an integral part of the swarm. We can then listen to these voices as individual testimonies of these workers who tend to go unnoticed. We can hear their singing, cries and chatter just like an airborne choir. 

Dominique Petitgand
The artist, in the framework of a CNAP commission, created three in situ sound installations: "Les trois pointillés", two initial installations in the rooms of the permanent collection (Salle des Grisailles and Salle Simon Vouet) and an installation in the Gothic Chapel. The first two installations feature interspersed voices punctuated with long silences. A few elements to be grasped on the fly, cut up, disarticulated sometimes word by word, syllable by syllable. Broadcast by two sets of several loudspeakers discreetly fixed to the walls at different heights, for dispersed and mobile listening, these two presences inside the rooms of the museum trigger curious and inquisitive listening, acting as an invitation, a first clue to the other work that the public is able to discover during the next part of the visit.
The third installation (Gothic Chapel) is a long "soundscape" (voices, musical elements, silences) that articulates two distinct sound planes based on the distinctive nature of the architecture: a first vocal plane diffused by several loudspeakers supported on the walls at different heights, and a second musical plane, hidden from view. This time, listening is more immersive and sheltered (slightly away from the museum tour), in a space transformed into a listening area by a seven-point sound diffusion device. 

Curator: Daniel Rouvier (Musée Réattu), Pascale Cassagnau (CNAP), Marc Jacquin (Phonurgia Nova). Exhibition accompanied by a copy of the magazine Semaine. Production: city of Arles/Musée Réattu, Phonurgia Nova, Cnap (Centre national des arts plastiques – Ministry of Culture)

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