03.25 > 2017.08.06
Zimoun is taking over the spaces of CENTQUATRE-PARIS with his sound sculptures for his largest exhibition in France. Made up of simple material (cardboard, balls, small motors, Velcro, etc.), his artworks fill the space nevertheless and change our perception of it.
In the press
The work of self-taught Swiss artist Zimoun, inviting us to hear the invisible, is a firm favourite.
Sonia Desprez and Sophie Peyrard, A Nous Paris
How do you combine visual and audio effect when you create a new work ?
Does one come before the other ?
In my work you hear what you see and you see what you hear. I'm interested in this directness. The sounds are generated in real time, through the combination and physical interplay of materials in motion, interacting with the surrounding architecture. There is not first the sound nor the visual element. In that sense I don't see myself combining sound and visual as this are two elements growing out of just one system.
Would you say that you make « audible sculptures » ?
This is one possible way how to look, or listen, at them. However, I am not putting the work in categories myself as I am generally not really interested to think inside categories. However I don’t see it wrong if my work is understood as "sound sculptures" or "sound architectures" as this combinations of words reflect the element of sound as well as of the material and three dimensional space, and all this is part of it. One element of my practice is the study of vibrational microstructures. The work explores the mechanical rhythm and flow of prepared systems. Both sonically and visually, units of pulsing activity form the basis of the compositions, whose timing and contours are determined site-specifically. Blank zones of play are constructed, and set into motion by the elements of gravity, resistance, chance, and repetition. In my sculptures and installations, scale becomes a tool of amplification or visual multiplication, as I adapt each system to a particular context. What I call 'sound architecture' signifies a space of entrance, but also a sound composition that functions more like an organism, something that is not changing into something else overtime, but rather full of variations in its details and potent in its sonic possibilities. It's not about a beginning or an end. It's not narrative. It's not going somewhere and not coming from anywhere - even if it is continuously changing in its microstructures. It is more about creating a situation and focusing on the vibrations happening at the current moment.
Why do you use low tech systems and simple materials like cardboard or wood ?
I’m generally interested in simplicity, and in a complexity which is growing out of this simplicity. I build simple systems, using simple materials, which then start to generate something more complex. I like the unspectacular materials, the beauty of simple and raw material, often they are from the context of everyday or industrial uses. I'm interested in simplicity and complexity at the same time: simplicity in the system and complexity in the behavior that develops out of the system. When and why do we perceive something as complex even if we see its simplicity at the same time? I attempt to construct stadiums in which the materials begin to act individually, taking on their own behavioral characteristics. Materials, resonance properties, proportions, space, strength, and frequencies are some of the key elements in this process.
Are you inspired by natural patterns ?
Certainly, even if I don't try to imitate nature but instead to build spatial compositions that have a certain vitality. I create systems, which are somehow getting out of control and which are constantly changing in their microstructures. This process resembles those of the organic structures and forms we find in nature. My work is on one hand very concrete - what you see is what you get: simple mechanical systems in combination with raw materials. On the other hand, my creations carry an abstract dimension. I keep them very reduced and raw, even the titles are just descriptions of the materials used. I connect the works with many things myself, in many different directions. I try to create work, which is able to activate me, to make me thinking about various things. I see links to various themes and I create the work based on a large field of interests. Perception, systems, individuality, space, absurdity, architecture, science, sound, methods, simplicity, composition, sculpture, nature, minimalism, networks... just to mention a few, or even societies, or industrialism, humor or quantum mechanics... In that sense I hope to be able to give this freedom to the audience too. For me there is not one correct link, nor one specific association the visitor of the exhibition 'should' make. It is not about being right or wrong. Rather than transporting one specific idea or topic it's great if a visitor becomes animated by the work and starts to think, reflect or wonder, to connect or question.
interview by Pacaline Vallée - Le CENTQUATRE-PARIS 2017