Trained in painting and engraving at the Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen, visual artist, videographer, photographer, precursor of sound ecology, it was in Van Gogh's footsteps that Knud Viktor settled in the Luberon in the early 1960s.
"I wanted to know how light could transform a man." It is by discovering the influence of light on the singing of cicadas that the sound universe of this region will capture it. He will spend his life recording a constellation of sounds of nature, raw, worked, reworked, inventing stratagems to keep track of imperceptible, unsuspected sounds.
If scientific curiosity drives his approach, it is also the urgency and necessity to "Knud Viktor noted in the early 1970s that the ecology of his valley was seriously threatened, that the number of species that evolved there was decreasing over the years or simply disappeared.
By tinkering with devices that will allow him to capture imperceptible sounds, the sound of the worm in the apple, the sound of the erosion of the Gorges du Régalon located a few hundred metres from his home or the percussion of the worms in the woods, Knud Viktor will strive to account for the sounds that surround him by creating his "sound images" - territorialized and abstract works, expressions of sensations, the most famous of which is Image VI (or Symphony of the Luberon), but also hours of field recordings constituting a kind of sound history of the Luberon, which will earn him the title of "pioneer" of sound ecology.
It is always as a painter and poet that he will evoke his approach to sound and not as a musician or composer, thus marking the originality and uniqueness of an approach that is irreducible to the practice of concrete music and the sole domain of sound. It is also through photography and video that he will push this sound dimension, sometimes simply suggested by the image, further and further, especially in the context of the installations he will produce from the end of the 1980s.
Although Knud Viktor's work remains largely unknown and confidential, he nevertheless participated in some important exhibitions during his lifetime, such as L'Amour de Berlin and Le jardin planétaire. In addition, his first two films - Bulles and Aquarelle - made in 1969 met with a certain notoriety. Bulles has indeed been awarded the Label Prize of the French Film Centre for Short Film and Watercolour, awarded by the Copenhagen Film Fund, will be screened several times in the preview of François Truffaut's La mariée était en noir. Knud Viktor has also collaborated with many artists, including Régine Chopinot and Andy Goldsworthy on the sound creation of the choreographic piece Végétal in 1995. Let us also mention the two discs Images and
Since 2015, the NightOwl collective has been engaged in research and dissemination activities around Knud Viktor's work. First a video, his voice, his rhythm, then his sound images. Pitted by her approach, Julie Michel & Olivier Crabbé raked the canvas and decided to gather the materials they could find on a page they dedicated to her. They are surprised by the fame of his work and at the same time by the great difficulty to access it... It is therefore even more intrigued but also more and more "fans" that they start a survey work especially among people who knew him or worked with him. The investigation becomes labyrinthine and the encounters exciting, delivering unpublished recordings, stories through which they gradually discover the different facets of his work. The images of the "hermit" to which they were accustomed until then thicken and become more complex...
The topicality of Knud Viktor's approach resonates for the collective in other encounters, particularly through the questions raised by the philosopher Vinciane Despret, from whom they borrow the term ethopoeia to capture and develop one of the great originalities of Knud Viktor's work: in the same gesture, combining in-depth naturalistic exploration of a territory with the translation/poetic expression of the events that inhabit it.
Their interest in Knud Viktor's work led them to Digne-les-Bains, where his archives are now kept and where they have settled. NightOwl curated the first exhibition of the archives at the Gassendi Museum See Hearing Knud Viktor (2017) and the Knud Viktor exhibition at La Maison du Danemark. Sound painter (2018). NightOwl recently collaborated on the "Mondes sonores" issue of Billebaude magazine and offered an evening at the Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature.
In partnership with : the Gassendi Museum & CAIRN-Art Centre, the association "Allo La Terre" (Denmark), the association "Voir Media Production", the University Paris-Est Marne-la-Vallée, the Doctoral School Cultures et Sociétés and the research laboratory Littératures, SAvoirs et Arts (LiSAA).
KNUD VIKTOR EXHIBITION
From October 10 to November 16 2019 — ENSA La Box
Curators Julie Michel & Olivier Crabbé from NightOwl Collective. Open from Tuesday to Saturday from 2pm to 6pm except on public holidays.
Thursday, October 10 — ENSA La Box
5pm › Diffusion of Aquarelle (short-film, 1969) and Image VI (pièce quadriphonique, 1976).
6pm › Opening of the exhibition KNUD VIKTOR
Saturday, October 12 — ENSA La Box
10:30am › Breakfast offered by La Box, around the Exhibition
Wednesday, November 13th — Amphitheatre of ENSA Bourges
4pm › Diffusion of Bulles (short-film, 1969) and Image X (quadriphonic sound piece, 1984).
5pm › Conference of Geneviève Mathon (musicologist and lecturer at université Paris-Est Marne-la-Vallée).
Within the NightOwl collective founded in 2015, Julie and Olivier develop proposals for listening and transversal discoveries through a site that seeks to "bring" mental mapping into contact with the world here and now. Since 2015, they have been engaged in research and dissemination activities around the work of Knud Viktor, a Danish transdisciplinary artist.
Julie Michel studied at the Beaux-arts de Nantes (DNSEP, 2011) and participated in the post-graduate degree Arts & sound creations at ENSA Bourges (2014) before being an associate artist for research in a context of prefiguration of the Diplôme Supérieur de Recherche en Art - DSRA. Julie Michel has taught art history and was pedagogical director of the preparatory class at the IDBL intermunicipal art school in Digne-les-bains (2018) and is currently preparing a thesis on Knud Viktor at the University of Paris-Est Marne-la-Vallée under the supervision of Geneviève Mathon and Miguel Almiron (doctoral school Cultures et Sociétés, LiSAA laboratory - Littératures, Savoirs et Arts). She is now an assistant director and programming manager at CAIRN - Centre d'art de Digne.
Olivier Crabbé studied philosophy at the Université Libre de Bruxelles as well as sound creation and sound recording in Mons. In particular, he directed the sound recording of Fatima Sissani's feature-length documentary La langue de Zara. His involvement in militant collectives has led him to carry out several translations, writing and publishing projects that he has put at the service of plural projects. He notably collaborated on the writing of David Vercauteren's book Micropolitique des groupes. After training in cabinet making at the Paul Hankar Institute, Olivier Crabbé has completed numerous private commissions and has participated in the design and assembly of several exhibitions. Since 2018, he has been director of the Gassendi Museum, the CAIRN-Art Centre and the Maison Alexandra David-Néel in Digne-les-bains.
Geneviève Mathon, musicologist, authorized lecturer, is co-responsible for the "Music and Sound Professions" degree and the "Music and Computer Music" master degree at the University of Paris-Est Marne-la-Vallée. A specialist in 20th century and contemporary vocal music, she is the author of numerous articles and studies. She has edited several collective works: To Bruno Maderna (2 vol. Paris: Basalt, 2007, 2009); Watermark n° 10, "Music and rhythm" (Paris: Delatour, 2010); From multiple temporalities to the rustling of silence - Book-tribute to the memory of Daniel Charles (Paris: Hermann, 2012), Beckett and music (Strasbourg: Strasbourg University Press, to be published in 2013).
CITY OF BOURGES
TRANSPALETTE / NADIR / HAÏDOUC / HOULOCÈNE
› 24-26 Route de la chapelle
HALLE AU BLÉ
› 8 Rue Paul Commenge
ENSA - LA BOX
› 7/9 Rue Edouard Branly
› Rue de l’Hôtel Lallemant
CHÂTEAU D’EAU - CHÂTEAU D’ART
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