The installation comprised fourteen monochromes, each loosely based on an original painting by the French artist Maurice Utrillo (1883-1955). Well known for his idiosyncratic, even poetic, light-filled representations of Montmartre, the artist had, until late middle age, lived a life marginalised by alcohol-addiction and poverty.
The core of this project proposes that Utrillo’s luminously coloured
manifestations of Montmartre were in fact transmutations of the artist’s inner shadow. What did this shadow look like?
More importantly how did it manifest as sound, because, I suggest, the artist must have heard this sound before transmuting shadowy darkness into light.
Each of the fourteen paintings attempts to locate and then preserve the shadow-image that preceded the making of each original Utrillo.
As a corollary, this sound recording attempts to describe the inner aural world that Utrillo inhabited as he transmuted shadow into light.
The keys were touched in response to the questions that arose through the unfolding of this project. Though certain conversations took place and were duly witnessed, all questions were ultimately deemed unanswerable.
It proved to be abundantly more than enough, however, to simply ask and then listen.
Domenico de Clario