Interview from 2014
In line with its ongoing policy of bringing the visual arts and music together, the Museum has invited French artist Céleste Boursier-Mougenot to present his living and ephemeral work, an organic installation specifically conceived for the spaces of the Contemporary Art Square, as transformed into a gigantic aviary.
An astounding sonic arrangement featuring songbirds and electric guitars, from here to ear consists of more than fifty zebra finches, enchanting little chaffinches from central Australia, “performing” in the Square. These tuneful and gregarious birds settle in groups on unusual perches: a dozen amplified electric guitars and basses ready to receive the finches, which, as they fly about on the strings, play pre-recorded rock, punk and heavy-metal chords. While the sounds they generate overlie their own songs, the composition of claws on electric guitars that they improvise is governed by the beating of the birds’ wings and by the movements of visitors as they walk around the gallery.
Organized by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, this immersive installation is the Canadian premiere for this French artist who represented his country in the 2015 Biennale in Venice.
After more than fifteen interpretations, the version presented at the Museum will be one of the largest ever.