Image: Oliver Beer at Opéra Garnier
Museum Exhibitions

Oliver Beer at Opéra Garnier Composition for Mouths (Songs My Mother Taught Me)

29 September—2 October 2021
Opéra Garnier, Paris

Visit the Opéra Garnier at the end of this month to experience a new sound and video installation of Oliver Beer's video work, Composition for Mouths (Songs My Mother Taught Me), 2018.

Originally created for the Biennale of Sydney, Composition for Mouths is a video-performance work that marked a radical turning point for the artist, whereby the performers' bodies became vessels, transformed into acoustic spaces for the duration of the piece. 

I asked the singers to recall the earliest songs they remembered from childhood (which in Sydney revealed very diverse musical roots: from Aboriginal melodies to Indian Ragas and a Christian missionary hymn for children). I incorporated their melodies into a new compositional form. Joining their lips in a tight seal to create a single mouth cavity, the singers explore the resonant frequencies of each other’s faces as well as the architecture. With no-where else to go, their lungs are emptied out through each other’s noses, and, at the meeting point of the two voices, a third voice appears. — Oliver Beer

The work will be presented in a specially adapted 16-speaker sound and video installation created in collaboration with Devialet using their audiophile quality speakers. It’s an invitation from Thanks for Nothing as part of Paris Art and Commitment Week. 

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