The Great Animal Orchestra

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“The Great Animal Orchestra” está inspirada en el trabajo de Bernie Krause, ecologista americano reconocido por sus grabaciones de animales y paisajes sonoros de la naturaleza.

La exhibición invita al público a disfrutar de una experiencia visual y auditiva del reino animal, mostrando como este mundo ha ido cambiado a través de los años al estar expuesto a los distintos cambios climáticos y a las acciones de la civilización.

La exhibición es un trabajo de artistas de alrededor del mundo, incluyendo arquitectos reconocidos mexicanos, artistas de la China, del Japón, y mucho más.

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JULY 2, 2016 › JANUARY 8, 2017

From July 2, 2016 to January 8, 2017, the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain
is pleased to present The Great Animal Orchestra, inspired by the work of American
musician and bioacoustician, Bernie Krause. The exhibition brings together
the work of artists from all over the world and invites the public to enjoy an aesthetic
meditation, both aural and visual, on the animal kingdom, which is increasingly
under threat in today’s modern world.

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This stunning “aviary video” of multicolored images is under the solemn and contemplative surveillance of the dioramas of animals photographed in black and white by Japanese artist, Hiroshi Sugimoto.
In the second part of the exhibition, the incredible aesthetics of the living, hidden,
non-human world is revealed through advanced technologies such as cutting-edge
microphones and digital microscopes.
The English collective United Visual Artists (UVA) provides a visual translation of
Bernie Krause’s soundscapes. A remarkable three-dimensional electronic installation,
especially commissioned for the exhibition, transposes data from Bernie Krause’s recordings
into light particles, thereby highlighting the beauty of the sound environments
presented, as well as the complexity of their animal vocalizations.
Bernie Krause’s research has shown that the sounds of the animal world, often
perceived as a confused jumble of background noise, are actually as carefully
orchestrated as the most complex musical score. Each species has its own acoustic
signature within the unique soundscape of its ecosystem. Bernie Krause describes this
phenomenon of the “acoustic niche” as follows: “Each resident species acquires its
own preferred sonic bandwidth—to blend or contrast—much in the way that violins,
woodwinds, trumpets and percussion instruments stake out acoustic territory in an
orchestral arrangement.”

We tend to forget that animals have given us the gift of music. Bernie Krause reminds
us of this fact and encourages us to become aware of animal vocalizations through
his spectrograms that illustrate the various soundscape recordings. This graphical
representation of biophony offers us a chance to better understand and appreciate
the acoustic language of the living world which we are in the process of destroying,
and which only indigenous peoples are still capable of interpreting.

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The immersive installation by the UVA collective not only showcases the extraordinary
wealth of Bernie Krause’s recordings and spectrograms but offers both a unique
aesthetic experience and a source of precise knowledge. It presents seven different
soundscapes, recorded in Canada, the US, Brazil, the Central African Republic,
Zimbabwe, and in the depths of the oceans. A film directed by Raymond Depardon
and Claudine Nougaret in which Bernie Krause describes his work is included as part
of this installation.

In another room, visitors are invited to explore one of the most overlooked dimensions
of the animal kingdom: the infinitesimal beauty of the ocean with the installation
Plankton, A Drifting World at the Origin of Life. Made from photographs by Christian
Sardet, a director of research at the CNRS and one of the initiators of the Tara Oceans
Project, this installation is based upon a device invented by videographer and artist
Shiro Takatani, and accompanied by music written by Japanese composer Ryuichi
Sakamoto. Invisible to the human eye, the micro-organisms that form plankton are
found in all oceans. They represent the majority of the marine biomass on the planet
and are the source of life on earth.

In the garden of the Fondation Cartier, an installation created by Agnès Varda,
Le Tombeau de Zgougou (Collection Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain) is the
recreation of a temple that is dedicated to the spirit of all pets, in memory of the artist’s
beloved and much lamented cat, Zgougou.

Bernie Krause

Cai Guo-Qiang, White Tone, 2016 © Cai Guo-Qiang
View of the exhibition The Great Animal Orchestra © Lumento

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