Copyright 2012

Marcelline Delbecq

Swirl, 3'50'', 2008
Oblivion, 7'13'', 2009

When did you start using sound and voice in your artistic work?

I started using the voice as a medium in itself when I was an art student, that is around 2002. I recorded my own voice for a project and thought it was both interesting and convenient to use my voice, though I was no comedian nor had any special kind of training. I then carefully looked for other people to record voices for my work and met with actress Elina Löwensohn in 2005. Since then, we've collaborated on a number of projects, be they recorded or live. I also wrote a sound piece for singer Kim Gordon (Rapture, 2007), who agreed to record it for me and fills the work with her amazing vocal aura. I've more recently worked with a male narrator (filmmaker Thomas Bauer) and am still carefully listening to people's voices in search for one.

Can you talk about the use of music in your pieces?

I used to be a great music fan, especially rock'n'roll. I now don't have much time to listen to music, but have developed an amazing collaboration with my cousin Benoît Delbecq, a contemporary jazz composer and pianist. We also work with foley artist Nicolas Becker and drummer Steve Argüelles (they play together under the name "Manasonics"). Benoît's music is very powerful and very abstract at the same time. He always gets a special feeling while listening to my recordings, thus creates a music that both matches his own inspiration and the content of my work. His music is now an entire part of my work.

Can you tell something about Swirl and Oblivion, the two pieces you will present in the festival?

Swirl was commissioned by the Hessel Museum at Bard College (US) for the show 'Second Thoughts', (2008). I was invited to spend a few days at the Museum and chose works from the collection, in order to curate one of the museum's room, then to create a work inspired by my own curatorial choice. As the room I was assigned resembled a skating-ring, I chose works that would create an uncanny landscape when hanged together and invented a character (ice-skater) that would endlessly swirl around a frozen lake, itself surrounded by the uncanny landscape. I played and recorded a very short piano piece that acts like a ritornello to the words.

As for Oblivion, it was written for the show 'With words like smoke' at Chelsea Space (2009) and performed live for the opening. I also recorded it to be broadcast on Resonance FM. Manasonic's music actually came in later. It tells the story of an actor whose memory is slowly vanishing as he goes back to a place where he knows he has already performed.
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