A project by Camille Norment
Commissioner: Office for Contemporary Art Norway (OCA)
Curator: Katya García-Antón, Director, OCA, in collaboration with Antonio Cataldo, Senior Programmer, OCA
9 May–22 November 2015
Press and professional preview: 6–8 May 2015
Official inauguration of the pavilion: 6 May, 2.30 pm
The Nordic Pavilion
Giardini di Castello, Venice
Wednesday, 6 May
Official inauguration by Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway
Inaugural speech by OCA’s Director Katya García-Antón
Performance by the Camille Norment Trio
Press photos and questions, followed by drinks reception
Thursday, 7 May
Performance by the Camille Norment Trio
Friday, 8 May
Camille Norment in conversation with artists Joan Jonas and Pamela Rosenkranz, moderated by Tim Marlow. (Venue: Teatro Piccolo Arsenale)
Performance by Camille Norment and David Toop
‘Rapture’ is Norway’s contribution to the 56th International Art Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia in 2015. Developed by artist Camille Norment, the project encompasses a site-specific sculptural and sonic intervention, which unfolds into a series of performances in the pavilion echoing elements in the installation, and a three-part publication exploring the broader contextual framework of her investigations.
About the installation in the Nordic Pavilion
Inside the Nordic Pavilion, ‘Rapture’ explores the visceral relationship between the human body and sound, through the visual, the sonic, and the architectural body of the pavilion, in a sensory experience that is both physical and mental. For the installation the American-born, Oslo-based artist Camille Norment works with the glass armonica – a legendary 18th-century instrument invented by Benjamin Franklin that creates ethereal music from glass and water - and a chorus of female voices. Weaving these elements together with the resonances of the pavilion itself, Norment develops a new composition based on the unresolved notes of the much censored “devils´s” tritone that correspond to the notes of the glass armonica and creates an immersive, multi-sensory space, which reflects upon the history of sound, contemporary concepts of consonance and dissonance, and the water, glass and light of Venice.
About the performance by the Camille Norment Trio
The Camille Norment Trio consist of the glass armonica, played by Norment; the Hardanger fiddle, played by Vegar Vårdal; and the electric guitar, played by Håvard Skaset. Each of these instruments was thought, at various points in history, to invoke a socially and sexually transgressive experience in the body, especially the female body, and subsequently banned. In these performances Norment will perform new compositions with her trio whose instrumentation parallels the artist´s investigations into the relationship between vibration and the body as perceived during the Enlightenment period, and today through social and scientific discussions.
About the performance by Camille Norment and David Toop
Norment and David Toop present an abstracted ‘performance lecture’, encompassing text, the voice and sound, in relation to vibration, the body and hysteria. Hysteria, long deemed a female disease, extended to ‘an epidemic of male hysteria’ with the effects of shell shock during WWI and continues to be pertinent in post-war syndromes today as well as in other instances of socially and culturally induced forms of collective-hysteria. The performance also draws from American poet Sara Teasdale's poem ‘There Will Come Soft Rains’, written after WW1 and reflecting upon the resilience of nature to outlive the catastrophic exploits of humanity.
The performances are co-produced by OCA, nyMusikk and Ultima Oslo Contemporary Music Festival.
About the publications
Rapture includes a three-part publication that reflects upon the relationship between sound and the visual arts, across time, as well as it complicates the hegemony of vision in contemporary theory and art practice. In the first launching for the opening of the Biennale, authors David Toop, María del Pilar Blanco and Rob Stone contribute essays reflecting on how sound
s shapes our environment, our bodies and our minds. This first publication also includes a discussion between curators Katya García-Antón and Antonio Cataldo with artist Camille Norment, unfolding her artistic perspective on how sound has the power to act as a mediator of cultural experience.
Click here for more information and to see a short documentary of Camille Norment and the Nordic Pavilion.
About Camille Norment
Camille Norment (b. 1970, Silver Spring, Maryland, USA lives and works in Oslo, Norway) works as an artist, musician and composer. Norment has exhibited and performed extensively, including at MoMA (Museum of Modern Art), New York (2013); The Kitchen, New York (2013); Transformer Station (The Cleveland Museum of Art), Cleveland (2013); The Museum of Contemporary Art (The National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design), Oslo (2012, the museum commissioned a new performance to accompany the exhibition tour in Norway); The Thessaloniki Biennale, (2007); Kunsthalle Bern (2009); UKS, Oslo (2004); Bildmuseet, Umeå (2004); the Charlottenborg Fonden, Copenhagen (2003); Radioartemobile, La Biennale di Venezia (2003); The Santa Monica Museum of Art, Los Angeles (2001); and The Studio Museum of Harlem, New York (2001). Among several public artwork commissions, a permanent outdoor sound installation was commissioned by the Henie Onstad Kunstsenter (HOK), Høvikodden (outside Oslo), Norway, in 2011.
About the Camille Norment Trio
Camille Norment Trio, constituted by Vegar Vårdal, Håvard Skaset, and Camille Norment, investigates the visceral qualities of resonance, noise, and overtone. Their performances are an organic movement between the composed and the improvised, creating a dynamic soundscape that defies a fixed genre reference. The Camille Norment Trio’s performance credits include The Kitchen, New York, NY; USA; Cleveland Museum of Art; Ultima New Music Festival, Oslo; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Oslo; and the Henie Onstad Art Center. Their first release, Toll, is available on Prisma Records. Reviews of their work have appeared in The Wire, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Aftenposten and KuNordische Musik.
About David Toop
David Toop is a composer, author, curator and Professor of Audio Culture and Improvisation at the London College of Communication. He has published extensively. His first book, Rap Attack, is now in its third edition. Since the publication Ocean of Sound in 1995 he had recorded five solo albums, including Screen Ceremonies, Pink Noir and Spirit World and published Exotica: fabricated Sound-scapes in a Real World.
About Office for Contemporary Art Norway (OCA)
OCA is a foundation created by the Norwegian Ministries of Culture and of Foreign Affairs in 2001 with the aim of developing cultural collaborations between Norway and the international arts scene. OCA aims to become one of the main organs in the international contemporary arts debate through initiatives such as exhibitions, seminars and publications, as well as by providing support to Norwegian artists for their activities in the international art arena, and by inviting international curators and artists to Norway. OCA has been responsible for Norway's contribution to the visual arts section of La Biennale di Venezia since 2001.