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The Great Animal Orchestra Invades Fondation Cartier

8 July 2016

Enter the Animal Kingdom during an Incredible Exhibition in the Heart of Paris

This summer, and until January 2017, the Foundation Cartier pour l’art contemporain is organising an impressive exhibition: The Great Animal Orchestra. Gathering the work of diverse artists from all around the world around Bernie Krause’s sound recordings of natural habitats, visitors will dive into the beautiful animal kingdom. Recordings from the wild, mural paintings, photographs - guests will feel like they’re walking into the Amazon Forest, Canada’s far north or Africa’s savannah… all whilst standing in the heart of Paris. Do not miss this outstanding expo located just a few minutes’ walk from Hotel Median Porte de Versailles.

Into the Wild

With its geometrical, glass structure, Fondation Cartier Bresson pour l’art contemporain stands out in the Parisian, Haussmannian landscape. Trees and plants are displayed inside and outside the venue, blending perfectly through the transparent walls and creating the perfect example of modern-world-meet-nature. This is impeccable, apropos décor to welcome the Great Animal Orchestra this July.

Based on musician and acoustician Bernie Krause’s 5000 hours of sound recordings from both terrestrial and marine habitats, the exhibition unveils the secret world of no less than 15,000 species. Around this precious footage, several artists have contributed to the project, bringing it to life with their creations.

On the ground floor, an impressive 18-metre long drawing, especially created by Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qiang, represents an abstract herd of diverse species, drinking from a water hole. A colourful creation by Congolese painter Moké shows a lion, an elephant, monkeys and reptiles dressed as humans in his “L’Orchestre de la Forêt” (The Forest Orchestra). And a beautiful, black and white photograph depicts six white and grey wolves in the snow of Alaska, taken by Hiroshi Sugimoto.

Le Grand Orchestre des Animaux, Moké

Downstairs, guests enter a totally different universe, focused on sound recordings. Seven soundscapes (the components of the acoustic environment that can be perceived by humans) are set to offer the atmospheres of Africa, America and of the ocean, whilst showing the related spectrograms on huge screens. Through this extraordinary, innovative process, Fondation Cartier Bresson aims to make visitors dive into the wild…

Photo Luc Boegly 6
Painting by Cai Guo-Qiang © Luc Boegly

The Work of a Lifetime

To gather this amazing collection of sound recordings, Bernie Krause has been travelling the world for over forty years, carefully listening to each habitat he visits and capturing every noise he could. He travelled to the wild plains of Zimbabwe, got lost in Sumatra and wandered around the Siberian Tundra, always searching for precious new samples of nature. According to Krause, the sounds of the earth, the wind and the rain find their place in the natural soundscapes he pioneered, allowing visitors to step into an entirely original acoustic experience.

He incorporated the first one into his 1968 album and has kept on improving his techniques ever since then. With “The Great Animal Orchestra”, the acoustician opens a door to the animal kingdom as we’ve never heard it before. Always blending his perfect knowledge of music and sound with pure poetry, the artist is also known for being the man behind the soundtracks to Rosemary’s Baby and Apocalypse Now.

Head to this experimental, mesmerising exhibition and you’re guaranteed to spend an outstanding day in the wilderness whilst in the middle of the French capital…