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Illogical Thoughts

Diagonales : son, vibration et musique dans la collection du Centre national des arts plastiques

Presented in the context of Diagonales : son, vibration et musique dans la collection du Centre national des arts plastiques, an event initiated by the CNAP in France, in partnership with 20 art institutions in France, Belgium and Luxembourg, the exhibition Illogical thoughts... is presenting sound installations created for this occasion by three artists and articulated around speech and the illogical process of thinking it can generate.

Presented as part of the Diagonales project, initiated by the Centre national des arts plastiques (CNAP) in collaboration with around twenty venues in France, Belgium and Luxembourg, the exhibition Illogical thoughts... is articulated around three sound installations commissioned by CNAP, in collaboration with Mudam, from three artists who, in their different domains - performance, visual arts and musical composition - are interested in speech and the illogical trains of thought that it can generate.

© Photo : Andrés Lejona
© Photo : Andrés Lejona

Whether taking the form of sound pieces or installations combining image and sound, Marcelline Delbecq's works give pride of place to the question of narration. The artist develops devices associating images with stories broadcast in the exhibition space, arranged in the manner of a line of thought. For the exhibition Illogical Thoughts…, Marcelline Delbecq is presenting a fragment of a work in progress, titled West, in which twelve photographs taken across America serve as starting points for tales retracing the investigations of a writer visiting the United States to research the American author Nathanael West. The three stories included in the installation Trilogy (West IV, V, VI) thus follow the character through his wanderings, dreams and thoughts: “Faced with three images to plunge their gaze into”, explains Marcelline Delbecq, “spectators are invited to undergo the experience of literary miniatures read out loud, the legends and dreams of an America between reality and fiction. By echoing the images, of course, but also and above all by echoing the imagination of the listener.” Associated with musical and sound fragments produced in collaboration with Bureau de Son, bringing together the soundman Nicolas Becker and the musician Benoit Delbecq, the three stories combine two voice registers, a female narrator, and a man who, punctuating the first voice, seems to correspond to the character in search of elements for his own book.

Antoine Defoort usually works in the field of performance art, which he considers as a “box” that allows him to confront artistic forms (video, music, installation, interactive structures, writing...) and sensibilities. His grotesque universe combines craftsmanship, references to music, science, and cinema, and the misappropriation of objects, codes and expressions. The combinations sometimes give life to sinuous narratives, accidents “welcomed with open arms” that Antoine Defoort sets in place, carried by a harmony that confounds Cartesian logic and pataphysical poetry. Speech, music and writing are some of the determining modes of expression in his work. He places them at the service of his games of connection by making bridges and transpositions that may appear incongruous but possess a certain logic. “One could say that I make collections of connections, that’s to say, if you like, ‘collexions’.”

The installation EYESCLOSEDEYESOPENEYESCLOSEDEYESOPENEYESCLOSEDEYESOPEN(2010) that he created for the exhibition Illogical Thoughts... thus associates, in the style of logorrhea, different levels of meaning - discursive visual and sound elements, graphic mural interventions... - which the viewer is invited to experience through the prism of a video mechanism made from video glasses and a webcam. By superimposing text information on live filmed images, this offers the viewer a “heightened reality, 1.0.1 style, which brings into contact the real and its representation... EYES CLOSED and EYES OPEN”.

© D.R/CNAP/photo: Pierre Leguillon


  • Sébastien Faucon (CNAP)
    Christophe Gallois

  • Antoine Defoort
    Marcelline Delbecq
    Pierre-Yves Macé