Crossing the Line
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Céleste Boursier-
Mougenot

portraits
Fri, Sept 14–Sat, Nov 10
FIAF Gallery

CTL Questions for the Artist

In a word, what is the source of your inspiration?
“Inspiration”, because I’m a feedback effect person.

What does Crossing the Line mean to you?
Today, I had to clean up my studio, all day long I uncrossed the (audio) lines.

What’s your favorite NY spot?
I know how to go but I can’t remember the name of this East Village Japanese restaurant where the heads of fish are the best.

Cupcake or Macaron?
This is a kind of sea-fruit called “oursin” in my country, you eat only the genital glands (corail) orange or yellow and sweet and you can have a “soufflé”.

What is the current soundtrack of your mind?
The song of my car’s engine, when I’m driving...

About Céleste Boursier-Mougenot

“Everything we do is music”, John Cage once said, and something of this grateful acceptance of the ephemeral sonic grace of the world runs through the work of French artist Céleste Boursier-Mougenot. A composer by training, Boursier-Mougenot does not so much make music as set the ground rules for musical situations to generate and sustain themselves. In recent years the artist has experimented with the acoustic potential of ordinary objects, environments and activities, using them unorthodoxly to elicit the hidden patterns - aural or otherwise - that exist all around us. Whereas Cage’s practice was imitative of chance operations found in nature, Boursier-Mougenot’s method lies primarily in the transliteration of natural structures, revealing to the ear certain realities that remain invisible to the eye. He does not embrace the chaos of sound that floods daily life, on its own terms, as Cage did. Rather, he creates highly orchestrated situations where something as random as where a bird chooses to alight or how the wind brushes through a tree's leaves or how ceramic bowls afloat on a small pong touch each other can create new kinds of music and reveal hidden patterns.

For Boursier-Mougenot, the artist acts as the “first cause”, putting certain laws and systems in motion which he then allows to exist and evolve autonomously, rather than merely using chaos and dissonance as compositional models. His work merges the realms of the visual and the musical, mining unexpected sources for their musical potential and creating situations or devices in which sonic events get expressed visually or visual information gets expressed sonically. Calling on ideas about technological production, language, chance operations and systems of translation, Boursier-Mougenot’s work unites multi-sensory phenomena with a cerebral investigation of the mechanisms of sight and sound.

A native of Nice, Céleste Boursier-Mougenot was born in 1961. He lives and works in Sète, France. He trained as a musician and started his career as the composer of the Pascal Rambert Theatre Company in Paris where he worked from 1985 to 1994. From the early 90s he began making installations for galleries. Working in a variety of media, including sculpture, video and sound he creates installations which bring together the audible and the visual. He uses everyday objects and seemingly unremarkable situations to produce random and captivating soundscapes.

Upcoming one-person exhibitions of his work are scheduled at Collège des Bernardins, Paris; Hangar Bicocca, Milan; Le dojo, Nice; Le Lavoir and Galerie Sintitulo, Mougins, France; Empac Rensselaer, Troy, NY; and Galerie Iconoscope, Montpellier. Recent one-person exhibitions were mounted at STUK Arts Center, Leuven, Belgium; Henry Art Gallery, Seattle; Barbican Art Gallery, London; La Maison Rouge, Paris; Paula Cooper Gallery, NY; Les Halles, Nantes; Pinacothèque, São Paulo; Musée Chagall, Nice; New York Electronic Festival, NY; Théâtre de Gennevilliers – Centre Dramatique National, Gennevilliers; and Galerie Xippas, Paris. His work is in major private and public collections around the world, including Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; the Museum of Old and New Art, Hobart, Tasmania; the Israel Museum, Jerusalem; the San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art, La Jolla; the Fonds National d’Art Contemporain, Paris, and several Fonds Régional d’Art Contemporain (FRACs) in France. His monograph, états seconds, was published by Analogues in Arles in 2008.

 
Artist Profiles

Bel
Borba

C. Boursier-
Mougenot

Jonathan
Caouette

Tony
Conrad

André
Costantini

Annie
Dorsen

DD
Dorvillier

Jack
Ferver

Jim
Fletcher

Bill
Frisell

Raimund
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Gérald
Kurdian

Joris
Lacoste

Steven
Ladd

William
Ladd

David
Levine

Faustin
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April
March

Sarah
Michelson

Kate
Moran

Pascal
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Brian
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Peter
Sellars

Burt
Sun

Lotte van
den Berg
   

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