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Grauton (Karen Geyer)artist sheet 17/72

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In visual art projects, she calls herself Karen Geyer; in sound and radio projects; she is Grauton (shade of grey). She is taking part in the exhibition with kinetic sculptures. The spirit and aesthetics of her live performances and installations prompted the CCS to inbite her to design a performance echoing the art of Jean Tinguely.

PerformanceProcess Paris, Centre Culturel Suisse 18.09-13.12.15
tue 22 Sep 2015
1
20h
Performance (création)Centre culturel suisse+33 1 42 71 44 50

Presented in the Focus Jean Tinguely

A Voyage to the Outer Space (new performance, 26')
Karen Geyer is a sound artist who lives in New York and Zurich. She creates installations using everyday objects (bicycles, fans, kettles, stools) that she transforms into instruments by combining them with simple materials such as wood, string, and rope. The randomness that characterises the composition of the sounds gives the impression that the orchestra comes to life; the artist then filters and amplifies the material she captures using microphones. For this project, she drew particular inspiration from Für Statik, the manifesto Jean Tinguely dropped over Düsseldorf in 1959: “LIVE THE PRESENT TIME, LIVE ON AND IN TIME. FOR BEAUTIFUL AND ABSOLUTE REALITY!”

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In visual art projects, she calls herself Karen Geyer; in sound and radio projects; she is Grauton (shade of grey). She is taking part in the exhibition with kinetic sculptures. The spirit and aesthetics of her live performances and installations prompted the CCS to inbite her to design a performance echoing the art of Jean Tinguely.

PerformanceProcess Paris, Centre culturel suisse 18.09-13.12.15

Negociation of the ecliptic intersection (2010)

Kinetic sculptures, mixed media, variable dimensions

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The sound of movement

 Karen Geyer draws inspiration from Tinguely to set in motion an orchestra of objects. ...

Karen Geyer draws inspiration from Tinguely to set in motion an orchestra of objects.

Are we the centre of movement? For Jean Tinguely, art is movement because everything is movement: “[...] Resist the anxious wish to fix the instantaneous, to kill that which is living [...]”, as he proclaimed in Für Statik (For Statics), the manifesto he dropped from a plane over Düsseldorf in 1959.

Grauton is the alias adopted by artist Karen Geyer for her sound projects. The name, which means "grey tone", contains the notions of movement and change inherent in the themes dealt with in her work: materials, sounds and shadows. She collects everyday objects—bikes, fans, magnets—and by preparing them in particular ways and using piezoelectric effects, she transforms them into undulating, resonant kinetic objects. Twelve of these “sound objects” form an orchestra of rotating things: the starting point for a live composition. Chance, wear and tear, and various irregularities make each musical performance unique. The objects, imbued with a second “life”, play the starring roles in a paean to perpetual unpredictability. This autonomous life (in philosophical terms, part of the current discourse relating to the perception of things) is further accentuated by the moving shadows cast by the objects. Her installations of self-performing Echoic Objects are based on the same aesthetic concept. For the performance entitled A Voyage to the Outer Space, the artist has drawn her inspiration from Tinguely’s airdrop of the Für Statik manifesto: “Be in time—with movement—now.” She amplifies her audio-visual compositions using recordings of our planetary system, propelling us from our daily lives into the cosmos and building a bridge between small things and cosmic movements. Are we the centre of movement?

 

Anke Hoffmann, a curator based in Berlin

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