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Jean-Pierre Gauthier

Ceci n’est pas une machine

Curator_ Marie-Ève Beaupré
May 24 to August 3, 2014

“I try to create brief moments of exaltation in which the ear comes to life, is no longer an organ to be crammed like a force-fed goose: in those special moments, when the ears become at once mouth and eye, they cunningly, slyly observe and greedily swallow the sound.”
Jean-Pierre Gauthier

Jean-Pierre Gauthier’s art initially revolved around references to the workaday world and allusions to mental disorder. But he has always felt it important to highlight the discrepancies between the object used, the function that activates it and the sound that it has the potential to make. It has been nearly twenty years since the exhibition Les machines proliférantes (1995), which consolidated the artist’s thinking on the process of metamorphosis and the alteration of ordinary objects, and during that time he has kept eye and ear alert.

Looking back at his approach, it is interesting to note the abstract nature of the interactivity between artwork and viewer, the gradual disappearance of narrativity and the increasing refinement of the assembly process. If his recent projects mark a return to the essence of acoustic effects, it is because his interest in sound has become the driving force of his practice. As a result, the portmanteau words that lend life to his work (Air, Souffle [breath], Vibration, Poumons [lungs], Clapet [trap], Bouche [mouth]) induce an increasingly eloquent link between the exterior form and the internal function of the objects he uses, accentuating anthropomorphic identification with the intriguing machines.

Ceci n’est pas une machine takes stock of the key projects that have expanded the scope of Gauthier’s art over the past decade. Among other things, exhibition visitors will have the opportunity to experience a new immersive sound piece for acousmonium, titled Orchestre à géométrie variable, and to get a sense of his entire body of work through a variety of pieces.

Presentation on Saturday, May 10, at 2pm
Opening \ Launch on Saturday, May 10, at 3pm