Mouna Karray
An Object on the Shore

An Object on the Shore

Sound installation 3’55” (extrait) 2008


The artist found the object by chance…Despite its age, you can still hear the tape…We hear some chanting from the Koran, a mixture of unidentifiable sounds and of music… a dialogue, some words:
“its rolling, its rolling, not a sound!”
On the shore, the searching continues…

This text accompanies the sound piece by Mouna Karray and describes an object discovered, a relic of mysterious origins. The artist takes on the role of smuggler, one who offers a discovery or revelation yet who remains in the background to ensure the transmission is carried through. Symbolically, the sea is actually what creates distance and enshrouds- an image of oblivion. The shore suggests a border, another place, a land beyond, it is a place of loss as much as of arrival.

The sound recording fosters an indexed connection with the tangible, similar to photography. Although capturing sound rather than creating an image, both witness a moment and generate a space. Like a palimpsest, sound here comprises two levels. On the first plane, very distinctly, chanting from the Koran is interrupted by crude unexpected events: a dog barks, an object falls, a car goes by outside, birds sing, and we hear the radio. And in response to the quest of the spectator-listener, who has become treasure seeker, a voice on the tape questions, fumbling.

These reciprocal forays into the religious and the profane, the individual and his environment, the interior and exterior, reproduce an everyday occurrence like an instantaneous photograph, alien yet somehow familiar. They map out human experience, plural, fragmented, between past and present, intended and accidental, narration and silence.

Irène Burkel 
Translated by Theodora Taylor


The artist found the object by chance…Despite its age, you can still hear the tape...