View of the exhibition Garbage Truck Bomb _ © Damien Marchal _ Photo : Benoît Mauras / La Criée
La Criée contemporary art centre
Part of Ce qui vient, second edition of the Ateliers de Rennes – Biennial of Contemporary Art
Event organisation: Art Norac
Design and presentation: Art To Be
Exhibition curators: Raphaële Jeune and Larys Frogier
Damien Marchal homes in on sound-related questions which then serve as the raw material for his works. For him sound is both a fundamental part of the creative process and a means of allying himself with contemporary practice. The outcome takes the form of installations, performances and interactive systems. One of the recurring issues in his experiments is the reorchestration of sounds usually considered as pollutant or intrusive: in one instance, echoing John Cage’s free scores, he worked with Pauline Boyer on a composition combining a Kawasaki ZX10R motorcycle and a computer. For La Criée Marchal has come up with a sound installation using a life-size wooden model of a garbage truck. The piece physically puts the visitor through an aural/visual decision-making experience whose crux is personal responsibility. Drawing on historic and geopolitical facts, the work adopts an aesthetic specific to its subject but only in order to subvert its initial function. In an updating of the past the artist examines a reality both present and to come. Given the possible consequences of the choices called for, viewers can find themselves wondering just what their attitude to the installation should be.
This representation of active decision-making in an artistic, media-inflected and geopolitical context is a core aspect of Marchal’s work, implying as it does a shift from one stance to another. In the context of Ce qui vient the artist’s installation confronts us with such contemporary issues as ambient uncertainty, our freedom of action, and our ability to anticipate and react with appropriate strategies.