‹Eclipsing Binaries› Laurent Schmid & ZOUAVY

] 19.10. – 24.11.07

ZOUAVY – Live act during opening: 19.10.07, 18–20h
(Streaming on ratio.fm)

Multimedia speech of Laurent Schmid: «Les enfants du géant gazeux» in German language,

8.11.07, 19h


The technical term ‹Eclipsing Binaries› derives from astrophysical literature and describes the existence of double stars, which lie near and revolve around each other. They can only be detected as a single point of light by using optical instruments. Spectroscopic explorations prove that the waves of the light spectrum change as the rotating stars line up one in front of the other. So ‹Eclipsing Binaries› is an actual explainable scientific phenomenon, yet it does only describe a theoretic reality. This is an exciting starting position for the actual exhibition of Laurent Schmid & ZOUAVY.

Laurent Schmid is an explorer and discoverer. From the beginning he analyzed the interplay and merging of art and technology. His oeuvre irritates through a pseudoscientific playfulness and provokes ambiguous assertions; thereby allowing ‹maybe› to become a valid principle. ‹Truth› mutates to project wishes or expectations and can be displayed multilayered. In this area of tension he researches historical and interesting stories. This generates theories of an absurd conspiracy and yields to plots, which intermingle truth with lies. This ‹tinkered› utopia will again and again be brought back to reality. Digital concepts are artistically transferred to an authentic form. With an astonishing transfer of perspective he deconstructs alleged systems of truth. In the whirlwind of changing strategies and methods, awareness crumbles in the commotion. In the exhibition Laurent Schmid shows five main works. ‹Strange Experiments› bears witness of his interest for curious experiments. By use of Internet research he found African trinkets, reconstructed as complex machines from technical scraps of the western world – and in a nearly magic way they let their own constructions function. In the series ‹Hail› he helps himself with Steganography, meaning the teaching of hiding contents to ‹load up› pictures with political contents. Like this he added excerpts from manifestoes from the last 200 years to interpret passages of the digital picture code. The pictures, found illustrations of hailstones, have only subtly been changed in colour – actually they contain an explosive text potential. Likewise subversive are his huge ‹schemata› to be read. He links easily and effortlessly expressions from philosophy, music or cultural history in a pseudo scientific diagram. In doing so, he leads us through his personal point of view- and encourages us to take many detours. With the same ironic humorous undertone the three floating figures in blue overalls with the title ‹Never Look Back› can be understood. One can interpret the painted ‹IO› as autobiography philosophically reminiscent to an astronaut’s flight to Jupiter moon with the very same name. The work ‹Revision› he finally receives with a commercially available radio cosmic electromagnetic waves and modules those in a visual pattern. In doing so Science Fiction becomes tangible; maybe we will unexpectedly see messages from another inhabitant in the universe.

ZOUAVY is a collaboration of young artists from Geneva. Depending on what the project entails the group can expand from the core of five to double the amount. Common interest is the altercation with sound phenomena and the generating of sound into an installative art context. For ‹Eclipsing Binaries› ZOUAVY have created a sound tower with the ambiguous title ‹AZ›. It is a short form of ‹all together›, ‹autonomic centre› – or an allusion to the tower of Babel. ZOUAVY gives no answer. Viewable is a structure built from speakers, which resembles a tower or more likely the ruins of a tower. Via the numerous speakers; a specially produced sound becomes physically tangible. In the inner of the fortress, wires converge to different systems of amplifiers; it nearly looks as if inside a bunker, inside a military control centre. The music becomes sculpture and so ‹AT› becomes a monument for contemporary sound experiments.

Bernhard Bischoff, October 2007