There are few creative fields that have such a richly rewarding friendship as the visual arts and music. Why indeed should we choose between Elvis and Duchamp, Botticelli or Sonic Youth, Kraftwerk or Warhol, Matthew Barney or Debussy ? Some artists never decide, or refuse to make this decision, and instead develop a sort of double practice, exploring the fields of both visual art and music
It's from the close attention to the work and specific practices of these artists that the project Musique plastique was born in January 2011 at the galerie du jour agnès b. in Paris. Musique plastique is a group exhibition, a series of concerts/performances/workshops/ conferences, as well as a catalogue and a compilation. Through this global and multidisciplinary approach,
Musique plastique proposes to understand the projects of these artist-musicians (or musician-artists) from a double point of view – visual and musical. This way we can better see their impact, better measure their diversity and individuality, and better understand what separates them from other contemporary art and music scenes.
The basic idea behind Musique plastique was to invite around 20 of these visual-musical artists to show the work that typifies this double practice. In paintings, productions, installations or displays their duality is revealed, conceived as so many singular environments, at once audio, visual or even tactile. This "constraint" which requires the artists to think visually as well as musically, comes from a need to analyze more deeply the connections and interactions between the two creative disciplines. Following an investigative approach, the exhibition tries to release the forms, problems and methods common to these artists, while highlighting their individual works.
What inspires a painter to pick up a guitar ? By the same token, what makes a musician want to make a video ? And, most importantly, what relationships can be established between visual work or work done in sound ? Have these artists established connections or hierarchies in their different practices ? How does creating a multiform work influence the form and the content of the creation ? As many questions as Musique plastique offers subtle and in-depth answers.
The exhibition encourages the use of a wide variety of media, from drawing to video, photography to painting and multimedia installations. On the music side, the artists explore numerous styles, commonly with a pop sensibility and a DIY approach but differing otherwise: electro-rock, no wave, post punk, minimal electro, synth pop, folk, experimental rock, angry disco punk and many other sounds, difficult to categorize even given the vast segmentation of musical styles today...