Sound installation, 58'52"
Work presented as part of the exhibition Echos d'une collection - Works by Frac Franche-Comté
This "hidden sound" is the recording of a bird that has taken refuge, or is trapped, in the artist's studio. In the empty showroom, we hear the beating of its wings and the footsteps of Micol Assaël, who tries in vain to catch it. It's up to each and every one of us to live the experience according to our own relationship with birds and wildlife.
The installation also has a different impact depending on the space in which it is experienced, whether it's a simple museum room, the archaeological basement of the Musée de l'Abbaye (VD) in 2011, or the crypt of Sheffield Cathedral, where it was heard in 2015. It will have a different impact on us and our vision of places.
While sound is an important part of Micol Assaël's work, this piece is atypical in that the artist usually uses rather heavy, obsolete equipment such as old engines, whereas here sound takes its own place in the exhibition space.
Born in 1979 in Rome
Lives and works in Rome and Greece
Micol Assaël studied philosophy at La Sapienza in Rome, and seems to pursue her questioning from work to work. While Italy remains her base, her work is also nourished by long stays abroad, mainly in Iceland, Germany, Siberia and Greece.
Drawing plays an important role in his early work. Inner Disorder (1999-2001) is a series of 450 pen-and-ink and pencil drawings, begun in the Icelandic countryside and continued as a daily ritual in Rome. The drawings are not figurative, but inspired by the artist's obervations on the relationship between air and light.
These ethereal drawings, displayed on large transparent tables, contrast with the installations, for which she readily uses heavy, often obsolete equipment, such as old engines whose alternating operation creates a kind of musical composition (Mindfall, 2004-2007). The public is also invited to experience the installations for themselves, sometimes in a powerful way. Vorkuta (2003), created following the artist's stay in Siberia, is a cold room (-35°) in which you sit on a chair kept at more or less the same temperature as the human body.
At the Kunsthalle Basel in 2007, in a room hung with large metal squares, the air saturated with electrostatic energy made visitors' hair stand on end. Chizevsky Lessons is named after Soviet physicist Alexander Chizevsky, sentenced to the Gulag for having attributed a possible role to solar activity in the October Revolution. Following on from this, Micol Assaël will develop Fomuška (2008), an installation based on an old lightning study machine found in a Russian laboratory. The piece creates electrostatic vapour that provokes small electric shocks on contact with the skin.