October 21, 2012 - CRAC Alsace - Coquilles Mécaniques
October 21, 2012

Coquilles Mécaniques

Simon Dybbroe Moller, Dance of Light, 2009. © Galerie Kamm, Berlin and the artist.

Coquilles Mécaniques
October 7, 2012–January 13, 2013

CRAC Alsace 
Centre rhénan d’art contemporain 
18-rue du château 
68130 Altkirch

T +33 (0) 3 89 08 82 59 
info [​at​] cracalsace.com


With: Athanasios Argianas,Tauba Auerbach, Erica Baum, Lucas Blalock, Miriam Böhm, Carol Bove, Claude Cattelain, Tyler Coburn, Michael DeLucia, John Divola, Simon Dybbroe Møller, Spencer Finch, Jennie C. Jones, Euan Macdonald, Kelly Nipper, Ry Rocklen and Johannes Vogl + Project Room n°11: Joséphine Kaeppelin.

In the 1940s, American composer Conlon Nancarrow began a series of studies for player-piano, superimposing rigid tempos on scrolls that when played through the machine, produced paradoxically unruly and extravagant music. The works in the exhibition Coquilles mécaniques share this principle: Through simple protocols or procedures, they unexpectedly trigger states of excess. In doing so, they invoke forces of sensuality, memory or imagination that can lodge in regimented or hyper-rational systems.

The exhibition’s title, Coquilles mécaniques, describes its bookends: Nancarrow’s player-pianos, or pianos mécaniques, and seashells, or coquilles — the subject of a short essay by Paul Valéry on the limits of human understanding. Between the two, the artists in Coquilles mécaniques locate new sources of resistance to the systems that would seem to regulate or rationalize their work. Like seashells, or like Nancarrow’s music, they expose a gap between knowing how something is made and understanding its relation to us. They are luminous failures at mastering the world. Lodged in the rhythms of discipline, they are models of a riotous, sensual, and entirely unexpected opposition.

Exhibition curator: Joanna Fiduccia

Alongside the exhibition are parallel events, including musical and visual explorations with the collaboration of the Espace Multimédia Gantner (Regreb & Ogrob, Vincent Epplay and Samon Takahashi), and a film accompanied by live music for children (Mecanics).

Tours and hours  
Tuesday–Friday 10–6pm, Saturday–Sunday 2:30–7pm 
Open 1 and 11 November 
Closed 25, 26 December & 1 January, 2013

Free entrance  
Guided tour on request 
Virtual tour on our website.

Coquilles Mécaniques at CRAC Alsace
CRAC Alsace
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