Claude Closky

Musée d'art contemporain du Val-de-Marne (MAC/VAL)

For his retrospective “8002–9891,” Claude Closky showed nothing. Instead, visitors were provided with a floor plan and headphones: This was a show to be heard. An artist disloyal to any single medium, Closky forged his retrospective out of a common museum accoutrement, the audio guide. The visitor’s infrared receiver picked up sound files from transmitters suspended above the vast, empty, undivided, sparsely lit exhibition space. But in place of explanations, one heard aural renditions of Closky’s works. For instance, at the entrance to the show, a voice recited in French, “. . . the seventy-ninth time, the eightieth time, the eighty-first time . . .”—a professional recording of an actor evenly reading Plusieurs fois (Many Times), 1989, an A4 printout of typed text that goes from “la première fois” (the first time) to “la cent-dixième fois” (the 110th time). As mundane as the printed piece

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