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David Claerbout on Sound in Art


“It is the uncontrollable child in the family,” says the acclaimed Belgian artist David Claerbout in this short video, where he explains why he considers music or sound in art “highly problematic.”

“It has this particular temporal relation to space.” Sound, Claerbout finds, is fundamentally incompatible with the moving image as long as we consider our senses to be divided organs. Three-quarters of the work he makes is without sound, but he doesn’t think it is possible to be soundless: “It’s impossible to say a work is without sound, therefore, there is no noise. Absolutely not, it’s quite loud, in fact, when there’s no sound.”

David Claerbout (b. 1969) is a Belgian artist, whose work combines elements of still photography and moving images. Using photography, video, and digital-editing tools, Claerbout creates large-scale video installations that provoke questions of time, memory, and truth. Solo exhibitions include Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven, Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, National Museum of Contemporary Art in Athens, Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich, and SFMoMA in San Francisco. For more see: https://davidclaerbout.com/

David Claerbout was interviewed by Roxanne Bagheshirin Lærkesen in Antwerp, Belgium in February 2020

Camera: Jakob Solbakken

Produced and edited by Roxanne Bagheshirin Lærkesen

Copyright: Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2020

Supported by Nordea fonden

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