Anne Le Troter
1985, France ; lives and works in Paris
Anne Le Troter’s sound installations are filled with voices. In them, over the last few years, we have heard telephone interviewers reciting pre-written sentences, denturists stammering, and ASMR aficionados (a sonic relaxation technique) whispering in our ears. For the artist, for whom references come as much from literature as from the visual arts, speech is an area of investigation per se. In it, text is incarnated and created within a material mechanics of bodies. But if the mouth is present through stammering and dental care, A. Le Troter is interested above all in how language is formalized as norms (the slang of communities, so-called corporate vocabulary, scientific and psychoanalytical language), which organize the bodies.
For this new work titled The Four Fs: Family, Finances, Faith and Friends (2018), A. Le Troter became a client of a private sperm bank based in the southern United States. She was especially interested in the voices of the employees (90% of them identified as women), whom the company asked to describe the physique and character of the donors, in order to round off their anonymous portrait. This portrait, aimed at facilitating the choice of clients in the catalogue, is created using a variety of factors: a photo of the donor as a child, the recording of his voice answering questions such as “Donor 5417 talks to us about the sort of thing that makes him happy”, the recording of the voice of the employee describing him, and, last of all, a thumbnail portrait summing up this information, titled “Get to know the donor”. For this installation, A. Le Troter gets us to push open the door of a refrigerated room with wall to wall curtains made of those small tubes specifically designed for the cryo-conservation of human sperm. Here, in this small room, hundreds of female voices have been compiled and mixed in a repetition of registration numbers and descriptive adjectives giving the impression of a nursery rhyme with strangely pre-teen overtones. In an aquarium, colored contact lenses move about in a comforting and attractive suspended state, while a looped slideshow of portraits echoes the mechanics of the voices. A. Le Troter lets us see and hear the cogs of the commercialization of our desires involving reproduction, resemblances and differences, uniqueness and success, soared over by an obvious ambivalence between a desire for emancipation and alienation.
En coproduction avec / co-produced by Fondation d’entreprise Ricard
The Four Fs: Family, Finances, Faith and Friends, 2018
Halle de la Courrouze
Mixed media installation
Courtesy of the artist.
Coproduction Fondation d’Entreprise Ricard and Les Ateliers de Rennes – 2018.