Henri Chopin, Untitled, 2007. Mixed media on paper. Courtesy Giannantonio Morghen and Quartz Studio. Photo Beppe Giardino.

Henri Chopin
Body Sound Space

Quartz Studio, Turin / Italy

September 21–October 24, 2020
September 17, 2020
Quartz Studio
Via Giulia di Barolo, 18/D
10124 Turin
Italy

T +39 338 429 0085
F +39 011 826 4640
[email protected]

www.quartzstudio.net
Instagram / Facebook

On Monday, September 21, 2020, at 7pm, Quartz Studio is delighted to present Body Sound Space, the first solo exhibition in Turin by the French artist Henri Chopin (Paris, France, 1922–Norfolk, UK, 2008), curated by Eva Brioschi. The exhibition strives to give an account of the many paths that this multi-faceted, shaman-like artist took in order to cross the boundaries between body, sound and space, the three elements in the title.

Body. This is Chopin's medium to create his works of sound poetry. The throat, the tongue, the lips, the vocal cords, and the ribcage vibrate, move, and interact with the air. They click and quiver in an exercise about recovering the primitive, ancestral properties of language, emerging free and powerful from the artist's stomach through his oral cavity.

Sound. The sound particles made through these exercises are the ground zero of vocabulary, syntax, grammar. The word becomes pure creative vital energy, without meaning.

Space. In the space, the body releases the creative urge. His tape recorder experiments, in which he recorded primordial sounds on tapes, then superimposed, cut out, and stuck together, were followed by sculptural works in which he recovers fragments of these tapes, which he terms "sensitive" (as imbued with energy, sound, and life) and mixes them with newspaper clippings, found objects, and marks to create collages and totemic sculptures. Musical scores are created, made up of letters, words, and graphemes, returned to their signifying value, in a dance of textures, patterns, shapes, which set the pace of typed pages — called Dactylopoems — where typing becomes the mechanical, repetitive medium to give order to the chaos of the word. It removes its ethereal nature and imprisons it in set grids and structures. Over his lifetime, this visionary artist defied every form of prison, from his personal experience of the war and concentration camps to that of intellectual prisons of prejudice, diplomacies, and limitations. The man and the artist are a single entity. Creation through sound and word rendered concrete on paper is an ongoing pursuit of balance between chaos and order, freedom and control, machine and animal. The use of technology has let Chopin go where others have failed, freeing the artist from the tyranny of language.

Henri Chopin (Paris, France, 1922–Norfolk, UK, 2008) was an artist, poet, writer, performer, curator, publisher, and a visionary. After the horrific experience of being imprisoned during the Second World War, he decided to devote his life to art. In 1955 he received a tape recorder as a gift and began to experiment with the use of voice, poetry, and language. The space around him is imbued and activated with words and sound fragments in performances he conducts with the help of a tape recorder, which lets him record, overlap, slow down, and juxtapose words and sounds. Poetry becomes a means of producing sounds and images rather than meanings. His famous dactylopoems, collages, and sculptures, made through the use of scraps of recording tape, newspaper clippings, drawings, coffee stains, and found objects, make up a unique, imaginative universe.

His solo exhibitions have been put on at the Center d'Art Contemporain, Geneva, Switzerland (2018); Fundação Serralves, Porto, Portugal (2011); MUKA, Antwerp, Belgium (2011); Morra Foundation, Naples, (2005); Norwich Gallery, UK (1998); Whitechapel Art Gallery, London UK (1974), and many more locations.

Quartz Studio would like to thank Giannantonio Morghen and Giovanni Bordino for their support. The exhibition will be open from September 21 to October 28, 2020, by appointment.