Céleste Boursier-Mougenot’s installations combine the technical with the aesthetic and sensorial; he refers to them as functioning like a ‘dispositif’ rather than an installation. The term, loosely translated as device or structure, foregrounds the potential to engage viewers in both the operational and aesthetic components of a work. From here to ear (v. 13) explicitly orchestrates a space for listening and experiencing. Instruments have been constructed and tuned to create an environment for finches to feed, fly, rest and make music through interacting with them. Rather than ‘participation’ on the part of the viewer, the artist is particularly interested in the quality of human attention that arises through experiencing the installation.
From here to ear (v. 13) has been generously supported by the Queensland Finch Society, an internationally affiliated aviculture organisation actively involved in bird conservation programs. Four species of Australian finches inhabit the art work: the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata), Gouldian finch (Erythrura gouldiae), black-throated finch (Poephila cincta), and the crimson finch (Neochmia phaeton).
Céleste Boursier-Mougenot, France b.1961 / From here to ear (v. 13) 2010 / Octagonal structures, each made in maple and plywood, harpsichord strings, piano pins, contact microphones and broadcast system, coat hangers, metal containers, seeds, water, nests, pine, sand, grass, finches / Commissioned for ‘21st Century: Art in the First Decade’ / Purchased 2011. Queensland Art Gallery Foundation / Collection: Queensland Art Gallery / © The artist