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4 pieces for voice

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The sound works of Susanna Fritscher

 

Air, breath, movements of the tongue and mouth, murmurs, whispers, stammers, unruly flurries of words, blendings of voices – these constitute the vocabulary of Susanna Fritscher’s sound pieces, where the artist applies her exploration of the sculptural universe to that of sound.

The first works (il y a ce que je sais, AUT, 2011) experiment with the voices of the actress Mireille Perrier and the soprano Helia Samadzadeh. Acting as a support, these words are extracts from texts and selected solely for their distinctive tonality or for being simple descriptions of the space where the piece is being transmitted.

 

or, une autre pièce : blanc, joue-ire : rouge, 2011-2015
* See videos above

The artist got in touch with Charles Pennequin in 2012 and asked him to write three texts; the works une autre pièce: blanc (2012), joue-ire: rouge (2013) and or (2014) were the result, transforming the « words from the mouth » texts of the poet and performer into a sound piece that was reworked in the artist’s studio with Helia Samadzadeh. These three « Lautmalereien », recorded and edited in the recording studio, were created to be transmitted during the artist’s exhibitions as an independent and distinct installation; they have also been disseminated live – in locations like the Palais de Tokyo, the Forum d‘Avignon and Frac Franche-Comté.

 

Capture / the ears, Bruit B, 2015
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In 2015, Susanna Fritscher collaborated with the musician and composer Gaël Navard to create two electroacoustic pieces: Capture / the ears and Bruit B. Their creation is based around the visual equivalence between the representation of sound frequencies in the software program used by the musician, and the sculptural work Capture / the eyes by the artist: an installation composed of ultrafine filaments. Playing on this analogy, these filaments interspersed by shards of light, are changed into a musical score, producing an acoustic sparkling. Capture / the ears was presented during Susanna Fritscher’s exhibition in April 2015 at the Espace de l‘Art Concret at Mouans-Sartoux (France).

 

Flügel, Klingen, 2017
* See videos above: Flügel, Klingen and Flügel, Klingen invites Eva Reiter, De l’air, de la lumière et du temps and De l’air, de la lumière et du temps invites Nicolas Mondon

In 2017, the voice is freeing itself from its relationship to the body, and becoming abstract: the workings of the voice are recreated using an assemblage of tubular elements centred around an invisible rotating motor. When the circular motion accelerates, it increases the force of the flow and causes the columns of air inside the tubes to vibrate, producing a basic, almost imperceptible frequency.  As the speed increases, the frequency shifts, becomes more complex and invades the surrounding space. As the installation dissolves into the air, and dematerialises, it is transformed into sound: the rhythmic play of the vibrations becomes a spatial experience.

The project, presented for the first time at the Museum for Fine Arts in Nantes (De l’air, de la lumière et du temps, 2017), radicalises the relationship between sound and space for the 14th Biennale of Lyon Floating Worlds by Emma Lavigne, devised for the Saône silo at La Sucrière. The « sound propellers » have been sized up to reflect the scale of the setting: they rise and expand in seven-metre circles, revisiting the architecture of the hall. The tubular elements echo the silo’s cylindrical form, and their circular traces reproduce its contours. « As the contours of the tubes disappear, form is dematerialised and transmuted into sound: the spatial experience is reduced to the play of vibrations, in other words it is reduced, once again, to the experience of a murmur of sound. » 1

Flügel, Klingen can also become a musical space. At the Nantes Museum, the four sound devices are integrated into a specific work by the composer Nicolas Mondon performed on site with the Ensemble InSoliTus under the direction of Javier Gonzalez Novales on September 24, 2017. In the silo and the Floating Worlds, the musician Eva Reiter plays in the middle of the sound installation as the propellers resonate, rise, open, close around and envelop her.

 

Frémissements, 2020
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At the Center Pompidou-Metz, France, Susanna Fritscher links visual and sound work even more closely. « She explores the ventilation system of the Centre Pompidou-Metz, like an organism whose pulse she captures. The pulsations of the air emanating from its metabolism become the raw material for a choreography of lines formed by the long silicone threads that capture and reflect the light. The constantly reinvented undulating waves propagate and set in motion this impalpable forest that visitors are invited to cross. The grand nef of the arts’ centre resonates and amplifies the air that circulates in it, metamorphosing it into an immense body of sound, a wind instrument that allows the immense blasts of air to be set free from the building . » 2

 

Pulse, 2022

In a recent work, a vertical and horizontal network composed of thin flowing lines charges the space and the air with vibratory movements. The whole sparkles, quivers, pulsates, palpitates. At the intersections of this fragile mesh, circular devices intercept the pulsations and transform them into audible frequencies. The sounds evolve according to the undulating forces, their random tunings or discordances. Visitors pass through this space. The sound intensity fluctuates, is stronger underneath the amplifying – discs, mixes or gets lost depending on the location of the walk.

 

1 Philippe-Alain Michaud, catalogue de l’exposition De l’air, de la lumière et du temps, p.17, musée d’Arts de Nantes, exposition du 23 juin au 8 octobre 2017.

2  Emma Lavigne, curator of the exhibition, director of the Fondation Pinault, Paris, Venice

 

 

 

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