Tuesday, March 19, 2013


"Undercover Vacation / Top Secret Showcase", Douglas Park, 
In ‘Vollevox 18’, La voix dans l’art contemporain / voice in contemporary art, 
organised by Sonia Dermience, Dexia Art Center, Brussels  2005

Erratum CD 1, Track 21

19/11/2003 - 18/04/2007

Related Artists :

“How does one speak without giving orders, without claiming to represent something or someone, how does one get those who don’t have the right to speak, and restore to sounds their value of a struggle against power? By being a foreigner in one’s own language, marking a sort of vanishing trace of language” – Gilles Deleuze `Trois questions sur Six Fois Deux’ in: Cahiers du Cinéma, no. 271 (November 1976)

Conceived to combine actual and historical pieces relating to the voice in contemporary art with in-situ creations, VOLLEVOX has programmed 18 projects in theaters and museums in Brussels and Montreal since November 2003.

The specificity of this multimedia project - initiated from a visual art perspective - is that it creates a tension between audio-visual mediums and performance. Through the use of spoken language, the artists create or show work that touches upon the multiplicity of language and the expressive quality of the voice; fundamental tools for communication in all cultures.

A characteristic of the works involved in VOLLEVOX is that they address the public as an active part of the process of action. Performance, video or sound installations that abstract the sound of the voice require greater participation from the public, in a sense because the narrative originates more from the imagination. The political dimension of the selected works is related to the mix of different languages whereas the emotional impact is linked to the inherent qualities of the voice. Encompassing music, literature, graphic arts, video or cinema, these works testify, in a diverse manner, to a transversal research into contemporary art, which offers a re-reading of twentieth century art history.

VOLLEVOX has presented historical pieces such as Kurt Schwitters’ ‘Ursunate’, dj’ing of ‘Lettrist’ works, videos from VALIE EXPORT, Lawrence Weiner, Samuel Beckett and sound pieces by Isidore Isou and Marcel Broodthaers. As a testimony to the continuing relevance of past interventions KOMPLOT screened an interview they  recorded with Vito Acconci.

The performative aspect of VOLLEVOX can consist of readings accompanied by images or sound, such as Dominique Thirions’ homage to James Lee Byars’ piece at the Belgian national museum which took the form of a fictive past performance. Videos and sound pieces of VOLLEVOX (e.g. Sven Augustijnen, Jean-Philippe Convert, Messieurs Delmotte, Dora Garcia, Rodney Graham, Sophie Nys, Dominique Petitgand, Ivo Provoost & Simona Denicolai, Mark Vernon) mostly deal with the relationship between the voice and language within the institutional space.

These works, by mainly Belgian and French artists, talks about abstract and conceptual issues of tradition and form. The pretext of this nomadic exhibition, evolving through encounters in new geographical contexts, plus the subject of orality  created unexpected links between artistic disciplines and linguistic communities.

VOLLEVOX 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 12, 13, 14, 16, 17: Petit théâtre Mercelis, Brussels
VOLLEVOX 7: Musées royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique / Musée d'art moderne, Brussels
VOLLEVOX 9: Dexia Art Center, Brussels
VOLLEVOX 11: Raffinerie du Plan K, JAP, Brussels
VOLLEVOX 15: Salla Rosa / Le Vidéographe, Montréal
VOLLEVOX 18: Halles de Schaerbeek, Brussels

Sound compilation from VOLLEVOX:

live sound performance, Building Transmissions, feat. Jan Lemaire, in collaboration with Karl Holmqvist, Maurizio Nannucci, Douglas Park & Anri Sala, organized by Nico Dockx in association with Vollevox(Sonya Dermience / Komplot), 
Dexia Art Center / Gebouw Vanderborght, Brussels, 2004

After 'Vollevox 9' 
©, Copyright, Jan Mast, 2004

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