With The Fool’s Ballad, Zahra Poonawala gives a new opportunity to travel both inside and in the company of a sound. This installation is a continuation of previous works which already presented sound not as an impenetrable surface but as a volume to be traveled in. These works, like TUTTI, were also based on a dialogue between spectator and sounds/objects. The result was a heightened awareness of the plasticity of sound, of its living character.

In The Fool’s Ballad, the sound configurations evolve according to the physical relationships between the viewer and the sculpture. At the approach of the spectator, a ceramic loudspeaker comes alive and emits a song, that of a soprano, while at the same time rotating along with the visitor’s movements. By approaching or moving away, the spectator modifies the song: the soprano is «influenced», becoming sometimes shy, sometimes inhabited, revealing a palette of nuances and different regional accents. The composition of this ballad was given to Gaëtan Gromer. The classic lied of origin is revealed under unsuspected facets. 

Conception: Zahra Poonawala
Composition: Gaëtan Gromer
Soprano: Juliette de Massy
Sound Ingeneer Studio: Benjamin Moreau
Poems: Feliz Molina
Poem Adaptation: Zahra Poonawala
Programming and Tracking: David Lemaréchal
Robotics and Construction: Jean-Marc Delannoy
Music Programming: Gaëtan Gromer
Ceramic supervision: Solène Dumas and Artelineha

Avec le soutien de la Drac Grand Est et de Pro Helvetia, Fondation suisse pour la culture.