As part of The Aesthetic Experience project, the Evens Foundation and the research centre Theatrum Mundi establish the Voi[e,x,s] Research Fellowship to investigate how a shared aesthetic experience could enrich the relationship between people and their environnement.
At the core of Voi[e,x,s], there is a creation of a new major sound art work, a collaboration between professional musicians and a group of residents - permanent and transient - of the Parisian La Chapelle area.
Whilst the disused railway depot known as Chapelle-Charbon begins its transformation into an urban park and housing, the opera company MDPA - Alexandra Lacroix, composer Marta Gentilucci, and Theatrum Mundi, the research center founded by Richard Sennett, propose to capture the process and to create new memories for the people living in the neighbourhood.
The artists and researchers have led sound and performance workshops with groups from local schools, community centres, as well as newcomers and migrants from the nearby refugee camp to record hundreds of names of local inhabitants. Together with the sonic materials derived from the site itself, these recordings will be made audible in the space as part of an electro-acoustic installation and live vocal performance, marking the presence of the people they represent on a new public site that until now has been silent, empty and unknown.
With its first outcome culminating in a large-scale public performance in 2020, this project is a long-term process of artistic creation but also of knowledge production. The Evens Foundation, in partnership with Theatrum Mundi, has initiated and commissioned research integrated into the project. One of the key objectives of this collaboration is the development of a critical handbook designed at a broad audience of practitioners, public authorities, and citizens showing how a performance-making process affects people’s relationship with each other and a (new) public space. In other words, how performance could be a kind of urban design in itself.