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Press Release

Dishes floating in pools of water creating acoustic sounds comprise Céleste Boursier-Mougenot’s first one-person exhibition in New York. His work will be on view at the Paula Cooper Gallery at 534 W. 21st Street from 10 September through 16 October, 1999.

Conceived foremost for its musical qualities, this installation will consist of inflatable pools of water scattered across the main gallery space. Activated by electric pumps, the chimes produced by the floating bowls and glasses will gently resonate throughout the room.

Céleste Boursier-Mougenot composes music based on the tonal properties of everyday objects. His work demonstrates an “aesthetic of listening [1] that integrates visual and acoustic, public and private, and spatial and temporal elements, recalling the artistic precedent of John Cage. He explains, “an installation’s sound and its appearance are for me completely intertwined and interdependent… it is not a question of putting a sound object on display, but rather to show the unfolding of a whole system. This can then give rise to a scenography in motion…” [2]

Born in Nice, France in 1961, Céleste Boursier-Mougenot most recently exhibited at P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center in February-April 1999. His work has been included in “A Moveable Feast” at Galerie Luc Queyrel, Paris in 1998 and “Artists Respond to 2001: A Space Odyssey” at the Williamsburg Art and Historical Society, Brooklyn, in 1997. His last one-person exhibition prior to the Paula Cooper Gallery show was held at the Galerie du capcMusée Bordeaux in 1997.

1. O.R., “Water Music,” Technikart, No. 16, 1997 (translation)
2. Céleste Boursier-Mougenot, artist’s statement, 1998.


For more information, please contact the gallery: (212) 255-1105 or
info@paulacoopergallery.com