Ştefania Becheanu is a painter, she paints soundscapes. Her canvasses are no longer made out of textile fiber stretched on a chassis. They are now invisible and they are invading the space of the exhibition in an immaterial yet very precise way. Her technique is pictorial, the sound colors are intricately mixed, the acoustic layers aresculpted, the artistic gesture of the painter persists, the software replaces the brush. Her raw material is vivid and vibrant: brut sounds captured in towns and cities and in nature, in her daily life or during her numerous voyages.
Ştefania Becheanu works her material, she creates a dramaturgy, a sound painting which she submits to the visitors. The sound landscape is exhibited in a multichannel technique, the sound invades the space and surrounds the visitor. The setup of the exhibition invites the visitor to an exploration, to a search of the senses, to the perception of the space and to the feeling of vibrations which will stick to the ear, touch the flesh and rebound on a sound recollection, by challenging the senses and generating an image.
The sounds cross from one intimacy to another, from the artist to the listener. There are as many sound landscapes as there are listeners.
Text by Nathalie Filser, curator
N.F.: How did you move from the practice of painting to that of sound?
S.B.: As an artist, I search for the medium which allows me to express myself the best and I discovered that sound is a form of expression that suits me well. In the Atelier de recherche Sonore (Sound Research Workshop) (ARS) in the École supérieure d’art de Lorraine, in Metz, I was initiated to sound art as a medium by Eléonore Bak, sound artist who gave me her passion and skills. The universe of sound art is vast and rich, I had many opportunities to meet and collaborate with artists, but also engineers, architects, sound researchers in laboratories. All these contacts were stimulating, thanks to them I have developed my practice and built my own experience, based on my perception of images which is sound. Sound generates a feeling, it is direct, palpable, it is material. This sound material is linked to the body. Sounds generate vibrations, I can feel, almost touch those vibrations.
N.F.: Could you talk about your artistic collaborations with engineers?
S.B.: I would talk at first about my meeting with researchers from the Cresson laboratory, in Grenoble. It is a research center on soundspace and urban environment. The laboratory is based in the National Superior School of Architecture. The questions of architectural atmosphere and urbanity touch me particularly since I pick up my sounds in cities or in nature, raw and direct sounds taken out from my environment. My exchanges and workshops with them were fundamental for my listening and practice. The second experience I would talk about is the one with engineers from Supelec, a great French school, partner of the ARS, whose campus in Metz conducts a research on holophonic sounds. The spacialization of sound was fundamental regarding the diffusion of my sounds. In their laboratory, I could experience my soundscapes spread by 78 loudspeakers.
Ștefania Becheanu in conversation with Nathalie Filser, September 2015
Partner of the exhibition