Claire Glorieux

Ça vous parle ? - Installation - 2009

présentée dans le cadre de l'exposition Panorama 11


This work began with the compilation of an inventory of the nonverbal elements of language: gestures and mimicry. the one hundred and fifty gestures i collected come mainly from France, but also from Portugal, Brazil, South Africa, Chile, Mexico, Spain, Romania, Russia, Australia, England, italy, Senegal, Lebanon, india, the West indies, Greece, Colombia, South Korea, vietnam, Japan, turkey, and China, with a detour by way of the province of Oussouye, in Senegal, where whistling language plays a central role. A gesture can illustrate an expression ("i've had it up to here"), directly result from the expression of a feeling (sighing means one is tired), convey an image of some abstract mechanism (placing one's finger on one's temple and rotating it means one is thinking hard), or have some other, more obscure origin (puffing out one's cheek then deflating it with one's index finger signifies that the other person is talking nonsense). Sixteen people of various ages and origins execute the gestures collected, forming a data bank containing two thousand four hundred samples, shown on nine screens of different sizes. these screens are set up on a rack fixed at the wall, rather as in a library, reinforcing the idea of the material being miscellaneous and encyclopedic in nature. A text appears on one of the screens. the samples are selected from the data bank and shown in response to the words comprising the text and the situations it refers to. the text itself is based on incidents of misunderstanding that occur during the proceedings and relates to the gestures and the sounds, sometimes purely formally, sometimes in an explanatory, even poetic fashion.

Claire Glorieux


Le Fresnoy - Studio national des arts contemporains, Tourcoing