9 MARCH - 12 APRIL 2001
A trained musician, Boursier-Mougenot creates visually and acoustically intriguing installations where sound and sculpture merge, revealing unexpected beauty in the ordinary. His installation at Rice Gallery includes three large inflatable swimming pools, each fitted with silent water pumps and filled with floating porcelain bowls of varying size and dimension. Caught in the current of the circulating water, the porcelain vessels endlessly swirl around one another to hypnotic effect. Boursier-Mougenot “tunes” the room conditions to exaggerate the alternatively cacophonous and harmonious sounds created by the gently colliding porcelain. Bowl size is varied to alternate pitch, water temperature is specified to maximize resonance of sound, and pump strength is controlled to affect frequency of collision. The resulting combination of sounds at any given point, however, is as much a product of chance as it is choreography. Visitors are invited to pull up one of the café chairs scattered around the gallery, to watch and listen as the piece unfolds.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Boursier-Mougenot, who lives in France, entered the American art scene in 1998 with a residency at PS 1 Center for Contemporary Art in New York, has shown at Paula Cooper Gallery in New York, and had a one-person exhibition at the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati in 2000. The Rice Gallery exhibition will be Boursier-Mougenot’s first in the Southwestern part of the United States.