Photo: NGV Photographic Services Department
© Céleste Boursier-Mougenot. Courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, and Gallerie Xippas, Paris
Céleste Boursier-Mougenot is a French artist and composer who creates large-scale acoustic installations and environments which draw upon forces of nature and the rhythms of everyday life to produce new forms of art and music.
With clinamen 2013, white porcelain bowls float upon an intensely blue pool. Circulating gently, swept along by submarine currents, floating crockery acts as percussive instruments, creating a resonant, chiming acoustic soundscape, marked by complexity, hidden patterns and chance compositions.
In its unification of colour, sound and space, clinamen encourages a form of multi-sensory or ‘synaesthetic’ engagement with the work of art. Working in a tradition established by American composer John Cage, Boursier-Mougenot’s installation promotes chance and indeterminacy in musical composition, as well as the use of unorthodox musical instruments.