La question est posée, 2020
“La question est posée is a work apart because the voices come from a pre-existing material that I did not record myself. It follows a first invitation from François Piron and Guillaume Désanges - for the exhibition Contre-vents, Solidarités Ouvrières, Étudiantes et Paysannes in the West of France: a Genealogy in 2019 - to work with sound extracts from documentary films of activists from the seventies and eighties.
The composition is a vocal, noisy, emotional and musical collage that makes up a suggestive and timeless figure of struggling. In 2020, I made a short radio version for ARTE Radio, then I developed and adapted it to the dimensions of the Palais de Tokyo agora with an installation for 14 speakers and 2 screens.
As the introduction to the exhibition, the installation spreads throughout the agora in a diffuse fashion. For this version, fourteen loudspeakers, fixed to the walls at different heights in the rotunda and on a promontory, broadcast different sound layers: anonymous, individual and collective voices, borrowed from the corpus of documentary films (testimonies, extracts from interviews, live lyrics, harangues and megaphone speeches, slogans, cries, group demonstrations) and other abstract sounds, musical elements from my composition (waves, frequencies, metallic or electric shards).
The sound layers, interspersed with long silences, are scattered in space, isolated from each other on the different loudspeakers or gathered, mixed by addition, distributing the fragments according to the solids and voids of the composition and spatialization.
On both sides of the promontory, two video screens fixed to the walls face to face, broadcast the synchronous subtitles of the double transcription (French version / English version) of sounds and words.” Dominique Petitgand
The work was translated by Michael Angland.