Where are sounds?

20 Apr 2017 – 10 Sep 2017

CENTRALE for Contemporary Art

Brussels, Belgium


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Où sont les sons? Where Are Sounds ? suggests that it is not only possible to hear a sound but also to see it, touch it, be pervaded by it.


In keeping with its mission of championing contemporary creation in Brussels in an international context, the CENTRALE for contemporary art has invited Overtoon, a Brussels platform that researches, produces and distributes sound art, to come up with an original project that sheds light on a multidisciplinary niche in the field of contemporary art.

Founded by Aernoudt Jacobs and Christoph De Boeck, assisted by Saartje Geerts, Overtoon produces and distributes visual creations based on sound and offers production and research residences to creators from Brussels, Belgium and abroad.

To do justice to this invitation, Overtoon has invited Nicole Gingras, curator of international renown who has been interested for many years in the links between sound and image and in listening as a way of entering into a relationship with the world.

“Where are sounds and where do they go? This double question, so simple at first sight, reveals several essential aspects about listening. First, there is this predisposition, or rather faculty, of the listener to perceive any sound event, big or small. Second, these questions allow us to examine the ways in which sounds manifest themselves and travel through a given space, in public places or during our daily wanderings.

Many artists explore sound, its relationship with time and space, the singular relationship that ties sound in with memory, the association between silence and presence, between breath and movement. Some work with and in sound, probing the intensity of a sonic mass, its materiality, its volume. Others are interested in aural traces or try to capture the near-inaudible or imperceptible. Some translate a sound phenomenon into an image, an object, a sculpture, a perceptual and temporal experience. Others propose silent but sound-bearing images, relying on the power of words to fuel the imagination.

Exploring the act of listening through such notions as spatial acoustics, the listening body, the body-receptor and aural images, Où sont les sons? Where Are Sounds ? suggests that it is not only possible to hear a sound but also to see it, touch it, be pervaded by it. Listening takes time, demands time. While listening, the subject’s body oscillates between various states: vigilant, alert and in discovery mode, or distracted, floating and scattered.

The exhibition at the CENTRALE features sixteen artists. The selected works were created between 1982 and 2017, several of which were created specifically for this exhibition. From one work to the next, visitors may thus witness experiments that are at once distinct and complementary, all part of the continuum that characterizes sound works and their processes. “


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