Esma’/Listen at Beirut Art Center

Lawrence Abu Hamdan . Francis Alÿs . Vartan Avakian . Pauline Boudry and Renate Lorenz . Moyra Davey . Melissa Dubbin and Aaron Davidson . Pierre Huyghe. Alvin Lucier . Christian Marclay . Olaf Nicolai . Sharif Sehnaoui . Jessica Warboys . Cynthia Zaven

Curated by Marcella Lista and Marie Muracciole

27 April to 21 August 2016
Starting 27 April, Beirut Art Center will be open until 10pm every Wednesday.

About the exhibition
Beirut Art Center presents Esma’/Listen, a journey in the works of artists and composers developing contemporary forms of listening. Since the ear does not have an eyelid, our acoustic sensitivity exposes us to sound before anything else. Listening is the counterpart of this porosity of the senses: it is an act; it samples or filters the sound material that we receive; it may be immersive, but is also likely to detail, reproduce and translate sounds by means of our analytical capabilities, as well as by way of recording and amplification techniques.

At a time when audiovisual media is increasingly omnipresent and efficient, the act of listening itself turns into an object of artistic research. It is akin to a project, an experiment or a critical practice. The artists and composers gathered here use sensory modalities in different manners, in order to describe or produce a particular state of reception or interpretation of sound, of the beliefs it entails, the information it conveys, and the individual and collective territories thus determined. The works in this exhibition are articulated around the notions of silence and enlargement of the acoustic spectrum, whether to experiment with the limits of perception or to put recording techniques to the test. They involve different gestures inspired by a practical or imaginary experience of sound, aimed at the production or reproduction of this experience.

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