Céleste Boursier-Mougenot

Xippas ParisXippas Geneva
Celeste Boursier MougenotLes Abbatoirs Toulouse2014

Born in 1961 in Nice, France, Céleste Boursier-Mougenot lives and works in Sète, France.

The art installations of Céleste Boursier-Mougenot are investigations into sound-space and presence, often using altered perceptual states of affective suspension and lateral comprehension. While trained formally as a composer-musician, he worked ten years in composition within the contemporary dance world. He has become subsequently a major international artist who has a developed a uniquely individual view of the relationship and possibilities that pertain between sound and objects. He creates sound installations that he calls “hiscorps sonore” (sonic body) works, which lead the viewer towards a unique set of individual sensory installation experiences.

Céleste Boursier-Mougenot invites us to be listeners who also see, who explore the modalities of permanence and present and to be, as he calls it, «distracted listeners». Noises in our daily environment or residual noises that are not made for a musical purpose are rich in a potential that Céleste Boursier-Mougenot’s installations transform into a «listening experience». The sound of a car driving by, of a chair that’s being dragged, the familiar hum of appliances or the clinking of porcelain bowls floating in a kids’ pool: those are all the fleeting data and materials used by Céleste Boursier-Mougenot to conceive the installations that accompany the physiological rhythm of our life and that extend the expectations of «environment music». He uses the flaws of his systems and technical incidents like audio or video feedbacks; he plays on the mismatching of sources with virtuosity: video signals are treated like sounds, he connects harmonicas to vacuum cleaners or uses electric guitars as bird tables..

Major figure in the landscape of contemporary international art, he was a winner of the International Studio Program (PS1) in New York in 1998-1999. Numerous institutions have organized solo exhibitions of his work: François Schneider Foundation in Wattwiller (2019), the HAB Galerie in Nantes (2018), the Minsheng Art Museum of Shanghai and the Centre d’art contemporain Yverdon-les-Bains in Switzerland (2017), the Copenhagen Contemporary in Denmark (2016-2017), the Palais de Tokyo in Paris (2015), the Forum of Centre Pompidou-Metz (2015), the Abattoirs de Toulouse (2014), the Peabody Essex Museum in the United-States (2014), the National Gallery Victoria in Melbourne (2013) or among others the Maison Rouge in Paris (2010). In 2015, he represented France at the 56th Venice Biennale. He took part in the 13th and the 14th Biennial of Contemporary Art in Lyon in 2015 and 2017. In 2015, he represented France at the 56th Venice Biennale. He took part in the 13th and the 14th Biennial of Contemporary Art in Lyon in 2015 and 2017.

Public collections (selection): Tang Museum Saratoga Springs (New York), Collection National Gallery Victoria (Melbourne), FRAC Franche-Comté (Besançon), Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington Seattle (Washington), FNAC (Paris), MNAM – Centre Georges Pompidou (Paris), FRAC Champagne-Ardenne (Reims), Israel Museum (Jerusalem), FRAC Languedoc-Roussillon (Montpellier), Museum of Contemporary Art (San Diego), FRAC Lorraine (Metz), CAPC musée de Bordeaux (Bordeaux), FRAC Limousin (Limoges).

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