Alexandre Joly

See the sounds, hear the images

How can sound create an image? This question touches the texture and form of sound, in terms of its sensitive and special qualities. If numerous contemporary artists explore the different properties of sound, in the work of Alexandre Jolys this quest seems to hold an obsession generated by his pieces with great force. In Absolute sine, the black water of the basin is troubled by vibrations – drawing abstract lines in a rhythmic zik-zak, thus creating an iridescent surface. A score of bass frequencies that we perceive in a mute manner within the framework of this piece, that we feel underneath our feet, and sometimes even passes through our entire body, provokes waves that set the fluid into motion. The vibrations, almost unperceivable, create an image that shivers, moves and seems to breath. The quadrangular basin is a canvas of conflagrations of sinusoids, of a visual detonation produced by sound. The sound becomes an image; he is rather seen than heard.

What other images can sound create? The fresco entitled Onde is drawn by the cord of a piano, forming waves around a series of piezos – little low-tech speakers in form of pastilles. It presents itself like a painting on the wall and generates music. Alexandre Joly creates a musical object free of any scores and even of musical instruments. Or rather, the musical instrument is an image, called more precisely a fresco. The image is playing the music. Thanks to the quality of the piezos, a composition created by the artist is propagated in the image, according to the undulating advance of the piano cord. There one hears the breath, the wind, the crisping of fire, rain, cries of animals, sounds in direct reference to nature, who emanate from the abstract layout of the fresco. The sound follows a figure; on espouse the exact contour and overflows of the visual framework. In his turn, the figure - abstract and cold in it’s appearance, becomes animated by these sonorities, which are soaked in life, power and rhythm. The breath is the material of the image. The image is breathing.


Véronique Mauron

January 2010.


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