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FR - EN



Paul Devens (NL) - Dock / Ancien Palais de Justice
Sound installation and listening space


"Just before the independency of Senegal in 1960, the colonial power of France yielded, at Cap manuel in Dakar, a new courthouse. It is a typical kind of a modernistic, Corbusian approach of that time, where progressive ideas of enlightment and uplift ruled. French architects Daniel Babani (1914 - 2006) and Pierre Roux-Dorlut (1919 - 1995) were the designers of this concrete palace; a complex of courtrooms, office rooms, utility spaces and mezzanines.
After the independency the building remains in its original function but also changes into a monument, one of a past, coloured by western influence and power.
Recently, long after the courthouse lost its original function, the building serves as a stage for African contemporary art at the Dak'Art biennial.

At first, the western-colonial initiative to build the courthouse according to imposed western standards and the issues of post-colonial identity consequential to that, which questions the significance (more).
Following to that the withdrawal from public life and decay and finally, the promotion to one of the major stages of contemporary art in Africa, mostly shaped by African artists from the Diaspora, mainly to western countries. This transformation throughout these years of existence, became manifest in the building itself, its direct environment, the African context and beyond.


The work 'Dock / Ancien Palais de Justice' raises questions within the debate of the western and the non-western art discourse by the appropriation of archetypes, symbols and signs and the inclusion of a multiplicity of perspectives.

The installation 'Dock / Ancien Palais de Justice' invites the visitor to walk around in a construction, based upon the original floor plan of the old courthouse. This is indicated by microphone stands and running audiotape, which links the resonance of a past to recorded sounds of today.

The ideas on habitat and identity, colored in a personal human environment, and how it changes when the situation is transitional, opened up ways to invite a number of sound artists to compose a dedicated soundscape for this project. A listening space is equipped with a surround installation to serve a spatial experience of these contributions, curated by Cedrik Fermont and Paul Devens."


Paul Devens

With contributions of:
Anne Wellmer (DE/NL)
Cedrik Fermont (CG/BE/DE)
Christian Galarreta (PE/FR)
Cilia Erens (NL)
Elise 't Hart (NL)
Elsa M'Bala (CM/DE)
Eran Sachs (IL)
Erdem Helvacioǧlu (TR/US)
France Jobin (CA)
Jett Ilagan (PH)
Justin Bennett (GB/NL)
Kamran Sadhegi (IR/US)
Leonie Roessler (DE/NL/US)
Lloyd Dunn (CZ/UK)
Mike Kramer (NL)
Raul Keller (EE)
Robert Curgenven (AU/IE)
Simon Weins (DE/GB)
Stelios Manousakis (GR/NL)
Soheil Soheili (IR)
Zeno van den Broek (NL/DK)


A short speech by Mique Eggermont (NL), independend curator and art historian, will open the exhibition. She organized and initiated several contemporary art projects in Senegal, often linked to the contemporary art biennial, Dak'Art.

After the speech, Elsa M'bala, Cedrik Fermont and Paul Devens will give a small concert.

 
Paul Devens* is a Maastricht based artist and composer, whose practice covers the field of composed sound and architecture and researches social perspectives of the local. 
www.pauldevens.com

'Dock / Ancien Palais de Justice' is coordinated and curated by Les Brasseurs (Sarah Charlier, Corentin Lahaye, Jérôme Mayer, Géraldine Ungaro), Paul Devens and Cedrik Fermont.
Technical support: Frankable, Joep Hinssen, Dennis Muñoz Espandiña.
Special thanks to Mique Eggermont.

This exhibition was made possible with the generous support of: Mondriaan Fund and Stichting Stokroos.


*Paul Devens (born 1965 in Maastricht, the Netherlands) is a Dutch contemporary artist. He lives and works in Maastricht.
Drawing on a research-based approach within his artistic practice, Paul Devens develops bodies of works that connect elements from sound and architecture. Collecting site-specific audio recordings, Devens actively considers the physical space and social context. He does this through the method of “acousmatic listening”: selecting aspects from particular situations and implementing them in a new one – oftentimes critiquing the original situation. His research manifests in sound based installations, architectonic interventions, performances, and CD and vinyl releases. Simultaneously, he considers the presence of the audience as an integral part of the work in his installations and performances. His work furthermore alludes to infrastructures around value, preconception and code in civil society.   
His work has also been performed, screened and featured in group exhibitions in Ctrl_Alt_Del (Istanbul, 2003, 2005, 2007); OCA/ISP (Oslo, 2004); Kunsthal Charlottenborg (Copenhagen, 2010); Radio Art Festival (Tallinn, 2011); Diapason Gallery (New York, 2011); D-0 ARK Biennial of Bosnia-Herzegovina (Sarajevo, 2013); Jerusalem show (Jerusalem, 2014); Stimulating Synapse, EMAA (Nicosia, 2015); Galerija Umjetnina (Split, 2015); Hacking Habitat (Utrecht, 2016); bb15 (Linz, 2016), Off program ‘Electromagnetique Mobile' Dak’art (Dakar 2018); IBB ‘Circumstantial Radio’ (Curacao, 2018) among others. Devens plays in bands like Otomax (2016), Kendo Bahn Orchestra (2011) and Meerschaum (2017), he teaches art at Mafad, Maastricht and sometimes acts as a curator.