Altitude Magazine N° 11.
28 The Fondation Opale in Lens/Crans- Montana has taken up the challenge of exhibiting sound. Not just any sound: the original sound from the earth. From now until next April, it will be tuned to the sound of the didgeridoo, for a presentation on a totally new scale with a hundred or so works, including an exceptional collection of 70 instruments. True to its origins, the foundation will offer a central place to showcase contemporary artistic expressions, notably digital, yet in perfect harmony with the most ancestral instruments of the Aboriginal tradition. Like the kangaroo and the boomerang, the didgeridoo has become a symbol of Australia. For most of us, what we know about it sounds rather hollow. Hence the desire to explore this unique and complex instrument, which not only has many aspects of sound but also its diverse artistic, cultural and spiritual significance. Generally associated with the whole of Australia, it has its origins in the north-east of the continent, in Arnhem Land, territory of the Yolŋu people. For at least 1,500 years, people have been selecting eucalyptus trunks hollowed out by termites for their beautiful sound before carving and decorating them. This instrument, called yidaki by the people from whom it originates - didgeridoo being only a late onomatopoeia - is invested with the power of the ancestral beings at the origin of the creation of the universe in the aboriginal culture, in the parallel time of Dreaming. Together with the percussion sticks, it accompanies ceremonial songs and dances. For the initiated, its sound vibration has a healing power that transcends space and time. More than an instrument, the yidaki occupies a central place in Yolŋu daily life. It has different names depending on the region, the clans that give it its exclusive ornamental motifs and attributions. IMMERSIVE INSTALLATIONS Welcomed by the virtual presence of Djalu Gurruwiwi, spiritual leader and eminent custodian of the yidaki, visitors will discover its sonic, vibratory and visual possibilities. They will learn about its manufacture, its typology and some of its particular uses. However, the exhibition does much more than play this didactic role. In keeping with its mission to promote contemporary Aboriginal art, the Foundation presents two immersive multimedia installations designed especially for the exhibition. Using sculptures by artists Malaluba Gumana and Bulthirrirri Wunuŋmurra, the Mulka Project, (a collective of Yolŋus artists and multimedia specialists whose mission is to perpetuate and disseminate culture), recreates traditional ceremonies. The first installation focuses on the Rainbow Serpent, the fundamental creative ancestor, in the waters of Garrimala. THE OPALE FOUNDATION PRESENTS BREATH OF LIFE LIFE IS BUT A BREATH culture
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