South Winds presents the results of a recording session Christof Migone undertook with Le Petomane (Joseph Pujol 1857-1945). Le Petomane performed his fart fantasia at the Moulin Rouge in Paris where, to much acclaim, he would imitate musical instruments and with his ‘second mouth’ hum recognisable tunes. For South Winds, Le Petomane and Migone sought to explore these somatic winds as a response to Artaud’s ontological formulation: “the depth of my being is the volume of my body.”
Both Artaud and Pujol were brought up in Marseilles, city in the path of the infamous Mistral, a wind which “has the ill-natured habit of scattering roof tiles about, knocking down chimneys, blowing small children into canals, tumbling walls onto the unsuspecting natives.” South Winds has the same impetuous effect, it confirms that the body is a noisy place. The body emits and transmits, it cannot contain itself. South Winds is an essay on the flatulent and the incontinent.
– First presented as an installation at the Galerie de l’UQAM, 0ctober 20 to November 25, 2006.
– First performed at VOLT-AA, December 4, 2002. Series curated by Eric Mattson for Oral.
– Excerpt from live recording published on audio compilation VOLT-AA 2xCD (Oral).
– Excerpt of the performance presented at Gallery 101, Ottawa, January 2003.
• Curatorial essay for the C’est arrivé près de chez vous exhibition, pp.148-149, “Shared Belonging and Neighbourly Works,” by Nathalie de Blois
Whether treated as material or as objects, or used as a pretext for an interactive situation designed to create awareness of our experiences of the present moment, the body, in the works by Raymonde April, Louis Fortier, Caroline Gagné, Nicole Jolicoeur, Paul Lacroix, Diane Landry, Christof Migone, Jocelyn Robert, Lucie Robert and Giorgia Volpe presented here, become the subject of a rhtymical beat between presence and absence, materiality and immateriality. In these works. what is at question is the physical and organic body, but also its affective and psychological counterpart. Visitors will thus progress, in the suggested itinerary, from comic and grotesque bodily forms and manifestations to subtle and graceful expressions leading to a poetry of intimate and meditative contemplations. Whether employed for its transformative potential or as a means for reflection upon issues of representaiton, the body is signified by plays of echoes, reflections, splitting and shadows, and even of mimesis, and by the impression, whether indelible or fleeting, it leaves in its wake. […] The grotesque, even the abject, and the expansion and contraction of the body’s trace are also at the heart of Christof Migone’s project. Unilke Fortier, however, Migone does not lead us into the heart of the invisible with his sound works “Anemos” from South Winds (2002) and “Untitled” from Crackers (2000) Although our perception of these two pieces is initially abstract, our curiosity, aroused by the evocative nature of their titles, will no doubt lead us, in amusement or disgust, to the source of these recordings, South Winds and Crackers derive from recordings of sounds the body makes, the first by the infantile pleasure of farting, and the second by cracking one’s joints. Migone’s work, Nicole Gingras remarks, “outline the journey of a practice anchored in performance where the body is essential and sound an inseparable companion”(Nicole Gingras, Christof Migone: Trou (Montreal: Galerie de I’UQAM, 2006), 39). A touch of irreverence, moreover, runs through Migone’s work, which is interested not only in the sounds produced by the body but in particular those which escape it by accident. This mode of expression, which valorises the body as transmitter-as an instrument of resonance-fixes in stylised traces the evanescence of organic matter and its most primary impulses, provoking laughter in some and discomfort or even a degree of repugnance in others. By using sounds from within the body to make them heard outside it, Migone also shows how the commonplace and vulgar can be transcended to give rise to a florilegium of sounds seeming bereft of meaning but with properly musical resonances. These signs of the body, intangible in Migone and quite tactile in Fortier, engaged in an enquiry into form and the deformed.
• rep.no.sapo.pt, review (in Portuguese) by Rui Eduardo Paes.
Migone é um dos mais curiosos conceptualistas da nova electroacústica/electrónica, graças a álbuns como Crackers, baseado nos sons provocados pelo estalar de dedos, maxilares, tornozelos, omoplatas, etc., ou Quieting, que tem como matéria-prima um “sample” de 26 segundos com o disparo de um canhão, sempre manipulado a um volume muito baixo e com cada pequena peça secundada por outra, absolutamente silenciosa, da mesma duração. Bem diferente é este South Winds, gravado com o recurso ao que o artista sonoro canadiano chama Le Pétomane e que nunca chegamos a saber muito bem do que se trata. O título do disco fala-nos dos ventos do Sul e é inevitável que tracemos paralelos entre o seu interesse pelo sopro do ar e suas anteriores experièncias com a voz humana e a fala como fontes sonoras dos seus processamentos, tal como se ouviu em Hole in the Head e Vex, mas a verdade é que não encontramos quaisquer traços desse procedimento nas nove faixas do presente título. Inserido, mais do que nunca no percurso de Christof Migone, dentro da linha “lower case”, dada a delicadeza e o preciosismo destas composições, o que aqui encontramos é muito menos “mental” do que este criador de “puzzles” sonoros nos habituou, ganhando mesmo uma desconcertante sensualidade. Do melhor que tenho ouvido nesta área.
• Artforum (December 2003), in Best of 2003, review by Christian Marclay.
• Vital Weekly (No. 389 week 38), review by Frans de Waard.
Christof Migone hails from Montreal and has released a great deal of work on various labels, including his own label, Squint Fucker Press. Many of his CDs have a strong conceptual edge to it. For his CD Crackers he recorded the sound of cracking knuckles, knees, wrists etc and made music out of this sound. On his new CD he works with the sounds of farts, a work Migone undertook by using Le Petomane, a creation by Joseph Pujol (1857-1945) – how they meet up is on of this CD’s mysteries. The title of the CD refers to Marseille, birthplace of both Pujol and Antonin Artaud, which is the path of the mistral, the wind coming from the Alpes going to sea, and which is said to be a terrible wind. Terrible wind? Catch my drift? The sound of farts was regarded as something funny, and maybe still is, even when it’s imitated by instruments. Let’s say that Migone recorded a whole bunch of farts and created this CD out of it. Like usually with this sort of things, if you don’t know this, you wouldn’t probably notice it. Maybe it sounds like another bunch of synthesizers. Migone however knows how to create an intelligent set of compositions with such limited sound material. For the better part of this CD are compositions that would appeal to a click and cut crowd (if anyone remembers what clicks and cuts are), but this material takes the whole idea just a few steps further. It works with clicks but Migone is not interested in dance music at all. His rhythms move along lines that are not really symmetrical. That makes this CD into a captivating one, with or without the concept of farts.