Les Années Musicales : 1920–2020. The Space-Music Dimension Becomes Multiplicity — Edward Pérez-González

[Winter 2021]

Par Edward Pérez-González

The Single and the Multiple. Briefly, multiplicity can be defined as a condition that amplifies things and phenomena; a state of abundance, of potentialities, that enables us to perceive and comprehend the world through different and heterogeneous dimensions – from another dimension. This mode of the single and the multiple is precisely is found in the exhibition Les années musicales : 1920–2020, presented by VOX, centre de l’image contemporaine.1

“The multiple must be made,” say Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari,2 not by adding supplementary dimensions but by subtracting the unique. When this operation is conducted, rhizomatic systems appear, constantly folding, refolding, and unfolding. We sense their presence when we wander among the worlds contained in this exhibition, which produces a sort of disorientation among spectators, a struggle between the desire to absorb everything at once and the desire to let ourselves be led, let ourselves flow, according to the rhythm or silence around us.

Exhibition curator Marie J. Jean worked with the objective of providing a sensory experience through works that create tension between images and music, two dimensions that are more commonly subordinated one to the other.3 The exhibition is composed almost totally of films and videos, silent and with sound. It organically – not sequentially or chronologically – traverses a hundred years of the evolution of audiovisual art through a judicious selection of works that highlight a certain idea of art history: not the history of a succession of art styles, but the grouping and articulation of concepts, discourses, and theoretical intentions around artworks. Among these are surpassing the idea of beauty, abandonment of the notion of art’s functionality, and putting aside the meaning and autonomy of art.

Les années musicales : 1920–2020 does not seek to arouse in us the desire to return to past times, whether we experienced them or not. Rather, it seems to suspend time in order to envelop us in an atmosphere of here and now charged with an expansive vibration generated by each work, each approach, each visit to the exhibition. Time itself becomes multiple due to this back-and-forth, which breaks the thread of ordinary temporality: the detemporalization of time.

See the magazine for the complete article and more images: Ciel variable 116 – LANDSCAPES AS MIRRORS