Céleste Boursier-Mougenot discovered on Youtube

Posted on January 28, 2011


photo by martin godwin / installation by Céleste Boursier-Mougenot

The overwhelming response to the Céleste Boursier-Mougenot exhibition this weekend came as no surprise to it’s host Barbican Curve Gallery in London. Patrons graciously waited over 90 minutes to see the recent Youtube phenom and experience his showing. Reviews were favorable of the 40 zebra finches and their 8 electric guitars; Which justifies the almost 700,000 hits his “Jimi Henchicks” video received on Youtube.

“The finches land on the strings in the way that birds rest on telephone wires,” said Lydia Yee, the curator of the show.

French artist Céleste Boursier-Mougenot creates works by drawing on the rhythms of daily life to produce sound in unexpected ways. Boursier-Mougenot’s installation for The Curve, his first solo exhibition in the UK, takes the form of a walk-though aviary for a flock of zebra finches, furnished with electric guitars and other musical instruments. As the birds go about their routine activities, perching on or feeding from the various pieces of equipment, they create a random and captivating soundscape.

Also included in the installation is a series of videos that feature close ups of hands playing electric guitars. However, the sounds that accompany the footage do not emanate from the guitars. Instead we hear an insect-like drone produced by the amplification of the video signal. –Curve Bunker Blog