UNVEILED PRESENCE (secret sounds)

Long-term project


The starting point of our project UNVEILED PRESENCE (secret sounds) is Marcel Duchamp’s work “A Bruit Secret” (“With hidden noise”) made in New York in 1916. This readymade consists of a standard ball of twine sandwiched between two brass plates. The metal plates are held together by four long bolts, which simultaneously function as supports for the object. A cavity was created between the two plates and the hollow space in the centre of the ball of thread into which Walter Arensberg, a collector and friend of Duchamp, placed a small object. Duchamp wasn’t told what the object was and the viewer only becomes aware of it when the object is tilted or shaken but its true identity remains a secret. Three lines of text are painted on each of the brass plates in French and English. Various letters have been left blank, to be filled by the observer. The lines of text are intended to be read one after the other with small arrows at the end of each line indicating which line is to be read next: The text starts with the first line of text on the upper metal plate and then moves onto the first line on the lower plate etc. This results in the object being turned over and over again and a noise being produced inside the readymade. The work is part of the Arensberg Collection in the Philadelphia Museum of Art, USA.

The long-term project “UNVEILED PRESENCE (secret sounds)” deals with sound events that can indirectly be heard experienced. It was initiated in New York City, where Marcel Duchamp also created his work “A Bruit Secret” (1916). The installation project grows and develops with time and with each new audio recording sequences.