text : Vanina Andréani
XXIth International Workshop of the Frac des pays de la Loire
in catalogue 21e ateliers internationaux, 2008
ONE HOUR IN LESS
It is a very specific idea that guided the invitation of Julien Quentel this year to Frac Pays de la Loire, that of bringing the public of the exhibition of the XXIe Ateliers to approach more closely the experience that live the artists of the International Workshops. We wanted to reflect the time of research, creation but also life that characterizes a residence. As a sound artist and sound designer, Julien Quentel stepped in, the order we gave him was based on a recording of these few dozen days that would run from September 1st to the 10th. November 2007. (1)
STORY OF A RESIDENCE
Artists do not all arrive at the same time. Julien Quentel meets them and expose them his project. First, he proposes to be the sound taker in a form designed by one or more residents. Artists to formulate their desires that they are in connection with the work they are doing, with their daily at the Frac or with their musical universe … It’s for Julien Quentel a way to lay the foundations of the meeting.
Days are defined during which he makes himself available to artists who wish to record these sound pieces. It even leaves the possibility to those who wish it to register alone. In total, there are 11 sound pieces that will be performed with the artists of the XXIe Ateliers and Axel Huber invited as part of a Snapshot. (2) Each of the achievements provides information on both the artist’s approach, his personality and his interests. Like the sound track Birds are in Africa Now where we hear Trixi Groiss at daybreak doing the dishes, brewing her coffee and telling
us that she enjoys those quiet mornings with Will Potter’s reading of Kirkegaard aloud (3). Because to live is a matter of every moment and every moment changes perpetually. John Cage
As time passes, artists and Julien Quentel get to know each other. Thus appears in the project this idea of ”counting” given by some who count the days spent in residence, those who count the money they have left, and Axel Huber who asks the four artists then present to recopy the same bar note on a blank canvas for the exhibition he is preparing Mario Toran Hall. Until then the recordings proposed by Julien Quentel had allowed to know each other better, now artists would be invited to interpret “a score” written for them.
Time could initially be nothing more than a cadre to occupy. Michael Nyman
ONE HOUR IN LESS … [FOR 8 PERFORMERS]
I WOULD LIKE YOU TO REMEMBER YOUR FIRST DAY IN RESIDENCE, THAT YOU COUNT ALL THE DAYS THAT HAVE BEEN SINCE TODAY
I GIVE YOU ONE HOUR, ONE HOUR OF YOUR INTERNAL CLOCK.
[BEGIN BY GIVING YOUR NAME, YOUR PLACE OF BIRTH, AND YOUR PLACE OF LIFE.]
This statement formulated by Julien Quentel will be quite “open” for each artist to appropriate. Written for 8 “performers”, the piece will be “played” by half of them: Trixi Groiss, Ingrid Maria Sinibaldi, Will Potter and by phone by Lara Schnitger who could not come to France during the residencie. Julien Quentel conceives therefore by the inscription of
the artists in the project, a play in three parts:
– The Resistants (Trixi Groiss, Ingrid Maria Sinibaldi, Will Potter)
– The Exile (Lara Schnitger)
– The Missing (Florian and Michael Quistrebert, Georgia Nelson, Diango Hernandez)
The “Résistants” in question here, superimposes three testimonies in three different languages, the German of Trixi Groiss, the French of Ingrid Maria Sinibaldi and the English of Will Potter. The three voices return as and when, to finally constitute a coherent sound set, a rhythmic scansion of figures and words mixed. Each artist appropriates Julien Quentel’s statement with his own notion of time. It is a measure of a very slow installment that installs Trixi Groiss, with its meditative poses and this silence “inhabited” by its breathing and its gestures. She seems to want to take possession of this time and to occupy that time of which she has no idea but which she nevertheless tries to contain. So she talks about these weekends that she likes because no car comes to park in front of the door of her room “no parking, no visitor very good”. This repetitive phrase comes to set a rhythm in his story that stretches.
Ingrid’s entrance … shattering. It will be a question with her of narration, the formatting of a story of her residence. Everything starts with his beautiful way to make us relive his arrival on September 3 in Carquefou. The narrative begins with a mixture of private life, emotions, questions and doubts about the work in progress. Or more materially, the artist lists his occupations of the day “58 the day of photocopies and also Leroy Merlin” or to close “if I did not wrong, Saturday 10 is
the number 69 “.
“I was here. I was in Carquefou. Will Potter in a few minutes will indicate almost detached his days of presence or absence. This repetition-based utterance is formulated with speed and precision. Acceleration, time takes another step.
In the end, three interior clocks merge like music that occurs as if of its own accord, without the assistance of a master, projected by natural forces.
At Julien Quentel, editing or editings are of great importance. Several forms have been given to this piece, but the definitive, the one that we can listen to here, makes the point of bringing them all together at the end. “In the end, as Will says, ‘I am here, we’re here, it’s the day we record, it’s what brings us together.” (5)
(1) The residence of Julien Quentel was organized in the framework of a partnership with HUB, collective Nantes
(2) Axel Huber’s Snapshot (65) was held at Mario Toran Hall from November 11, 2007 to January 6, 2008.
(3) The 11 sound pieces are online at www.fracdespaysdelaloire.com
(4) “These recordings were broadcast continuously by broadcasting throughout the duration of the exhibition. Each part lasting (conceptually) each one hour, it was technically impossible to make appear the three parts on the compact audio disk accompanying the catalog. So I made the decision to record the first part, Les Résistants. L’Exilée is audible at the following address: http://julienquentel.free.
The Missing has never been registered.
(5) Julien Quentel, excerpts from an email dated January 28, 2008