If you don’t think stacks of cardboard boxes are art, think again.
The Figge Art Museum’s latest exhibit is a site-specific installation opening Saturday, Sept. 23, from renowned Swiss artist Zimoun. He transformed the third-floor gallery into a “mesmerizing realm of moving cardboard towers accompanied by an orchestra of captivating sounds,” according to a Figge release.
Visitors will be able to walk amid the animated columns and experience the evocative sounds generated through friction, vibration, and resonance.
The installation incorporates over 80 towering stacks of cardboard, each reaching a height of 16 feet. What makes this exhibition extraordinary is that each of these cardboard columns are set in motion mechanically, creating a dynamic visual and auditory experience, the museum release says. As visitors explore the space, they will encounter a symphony of sounds, including scratching, scraping, rubbing, and clicking, filling the entire gallery.
“We are so excited to invite the community into this immersive art experience where visitors will encounter a remarkable convergence of visual and auditory elements, reminding us of all of the boundless possibilities that art can offer,” said Figge executive director Michelle Hargrave.
This installation challenges our boundaries of perception. Using cardboard boxes, Zimoun crafts an environment where sound and sight playfully interact. As visitors walk around the gallery, a myriad of rhythms and auditory illusions unfold, prompting visitors to think about what it is that they hear.
Every visit to the installation promises a unique experience as the sounds, motion, and orientation of the boxes within the towers change. What you see is what you hear in this dynamic installation.
The distinctiveness of Zimoun’s work lies in its simplicity of construction and the complexity of the soundscape it produces, the Figge said.
“Despite its intricate mechanics, Zimoun’s installation is environmentally conscious. It uses minimal electricity and features components designed for reusability and recyclability and generates little to no waste during construction and operation,” the release says. “It is a testament to the artist’s commitment to sustainable art practices.”
Zimoun lives and works in Bern, Switzerland and has exhibited his work internationally in institutions, including the Museum Haus Konstruktiv Zurich, Museum of Contemporary Art MAC Santiago de Chile, and Kunstmuseum Bern, to name a few. His innovative approach to combining visual and auditory elements has garnered acclaim from both art enthusiasts and engineers alike.
In addition to his installation compositions, Zimoun is known for creating purely sound works that explore microscopic sounds and noises. These recordings are often designed for multi-channel sound systems, immersing listeners in three-dimensional auditory experiences.
The Figge exhibit will be on view through Feb. 4, 2024. The artist will give a free talk at the museum (225 W. 2nd St., Davenport) at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 21. It will be preceded by a free member reception at 5 p.m.
For more information on the Figge, click HERE.