February 19, 2015 - Centre d'art contemporain - la synagogue de Delme - Stones, Air, Axioms / Delme
February 19, 2015

Stones, Air, Axioms / Delme

Design: deValence.

Jean-Luc Guionnet / Thomas Tilly
Stones, Air, Axioms / Delme
Fèn te ko ro, nka kow bè ro kolo ntè*

13 February–24 May 2015

contemporary art centre – la synagogue de Delme
33, rue R. Poincaré 
F-57590 Delme
Hours: Wednesday–Saturday 2–6pm, 
Sunday 11am–6pm

T +33 (0) 3 87 01 43 42
info [​at​] cac-synagoguedelme.org


The centre d’art contemporain – la synagogue de Delme is pleased to announce the exhibition Stones, Air, Axioms / Delme by Jean-Luc Guionnet and Thomas Tilly. 

In 2006, at a time when they were both active in the field of experimental and improvised music, Jean-Luc Guionnet and Thomas Tilly came to know each other through their shared interest in relationships between sound and architecture. In 2010 they created the first stage of the project Stones, Air, Axioms at the Poitiers Cathedral using its organ (a Clicquot organ of exceptional quality) to make it resonate through the whole building. 

From the outset, they conceived of this sound installation as the first phase of a long-term research project more specifically linked to religious architecture. Following a second installment at the Corpus Christi Basilica in Krakow, Delme is the third phase of their project.

By virtue of its history and exceptional acoustics, Delme’s former synagogue is the ideal setting for a customised, on-site sound installation. Jean-Luc Guionnet and Thomas Tilly are deliberately leaving the place empty, giving visitors an experience of both visual and sound architecture. By supplementing the built space with frequencies, as well as voices, instrumental notes, rhythms and silences, the artists offer everyone a special listening situation: whether this listening is drifting or attentive, static or mobile, it is guaranteed to give visitors a different perception of the place, which is remoulded by the volume of air it contains and by the sound travelling through it. 

The “score” of Stones, Air, Axioms / Delme was composed partly from architectural drawings, whose principal measurements were translated into sounds and waves, and partly from recordings of voices and instruments, which spread through the space.

The voices in question mix different languages both familiar and foreign, comprehensible and incomprehensible. They are not just abstract sound materials, but also vehicles of a meaning that fades away in the succession of its echoes. From Dogon prayer translated from one language to another, to the personal account of a mystical experience, these voices combine to form an architecture of sounds and signs favourable to the decompartmentalisation of all the senses. 

*There is nothing in things, but not all things are without content.

Jean-Luc Guionnet 
After studying the philosophy of art, Jean-Luc Guionnet dedicated himself to music and sound art, as well as acousmatic composition (Estuaire, Audible Festival 2013), instrumental composition (Distances ouïes-dites for the Dedalus Ensemble, performed at the Consortium, 2013), and instrumental improvisation with saxophone and organ (Hubbub since 1998, The Ames Room since 2008, solo organ since 1999, at Instants Chavirés, during Nuit Blanche in Paris in 2013, as well as in Europe, the US, Japan and elsewhere). Each situation or collaboration is a chance to show what a sound work can uniquely conceive—but also call into question. Jean Luc Guionnet’s work is sometimes situated very far from what music is assumed to be.

Most of his various pieces and collaborations have been published by international labels like Hibari Music, Matchless, Potlatch and Quakebasket. At the same time, he is pursuing theoretical work through texts that are either presented as lectures (Transmediale, Sorbonne Paris 1, Scam) or published in magazines like Revue & Corrigé, Filigrane and Théâtre Public

Thomas Tilly
Thomas Tilly uses a microphone and speaker as his primary creative instruments. His work revolves around the study of sound environments and their confrontation with the spaces in which they exist, drawing equally on both experimental and scientific music research. 

In his approach, listening is central, to the detriment of all other forms of representation. What occurs in the field must be interpreted and then transmitted to the listener under conditions of total immersion. The subjectivity of this reconstruction is rooted more in the sensible than in a complex technological contrivance. Relations with natural spaces, architecture or urbanism have become his preferred lines of research.

In Test/Tone, acoustic mapping and methods of analysis become tools to probe a concert hall’s nervous system and structure. In his installation Contreformes Ligne A, the listening posture of tramway passengers becomes a pretext for transforming the train into a listening lounge. Thomas Tilly prefers to approach his work from the perspective of the relationship between nature and technology, the primitive and the modern, often by exploring forms of communication. In Cables & Signs, the chirring of unidentified aquatic insects creates a mise en abyme with electronic music.

Thomas Tilly has presented his work in more than 15 countries and at numerous international festivals dedicated to experimental and improvised music: Audible Festival (Paris), Météo (Mulhouse), Bruisme (Poitiers), Electricity (Reims), Avant Avant Garde (Krakow), Simultan (Timisoara), Magnetic Traces (Melbourne), Observatori (Valence), Synthèse (Bourges), Bridge Festival (Bulgaria). Since 2001 he has run the label fissür, and he occasionally writes articles on phonography and its practice.

La synagogue de Delme Centre for Contemporary Art is grateful for support from the French Ministry of Culture and Communication, the Lorraine contemporary art authority (DRAC), the regional and departmental governments of Lorraine and Moselle, and the municipality of Delme. La synagogue de Delme Centre for Contemporary Art is a member of DCA–Association pour le Développement des Centres d’Art.

Marie Cozette

Press contact
Pierre Viellard: communication [​at​] cac-synagoguedelme.org

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