FRIDAY 16.11.12 AT 7PM
16.11.12 – 25.11.12
The American artist Terry Fox is known for his pioneering work in performance, sculpture, drawing and installation. Throughout his career, Fox (who died in Cologne in 2008), focused on sound as a fundamental artistic material. Many of his most important sound works were realized long before terms such as “sound art” or “audio art” became widely known.
This recording, The Labyrinth Scored for 11 Cats (1977), is now recognized as an early classic of the audio art genre. It is one of Fox’s many works to be inspired by the structure of the labyrinth found on the floor of the famous medieval cathedral of Chartres. For this work, Fox translated the 552 Steps, 11 concentric rings and 34 turns of the floor mosaic into a mesmerizing composition of recorded cat purrs, a sonic phenomenon which is still not fully understood. The “purrs” resonate in a shimmering wall of sound like in an uncanny feline orchestra.
“The labyrinth at Chartres Cathedral is made of blue and white stones set into the stone floor of the cathedral. It is a unicursal path winding in 34 turns through 11 concentric rings to the center. It is 12m 87 in diameter and has 552 steps following its course from the entrance to the center. This labyrinth formed the blueprint for all my work from 1972 to 1978. I attempted to make sound from it a few times. Two examples are ‘The Labyrinth Scored for the Purrs of 11 Cats’ and ‘552 Steps Through 11 Pairs of Strings’. For the former, I recorded 8 continuous minutes of purring from 11 different cats. They were then mixed to follow the exact path of the labyrinth with one cat representing each of the 11 concentric rings, 10 seonds of overlapping purrs to indicate each of the 34 turns. The tape follows in stereo the path of the labyrinth with the center finally represented by the simultaneous purring of all 11 cats. “
90 min. 1972