Marie Jager
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L'Heure Bleue
November 20 - Jan 3, 2011
Project space
Hayward Gallery, London

The Magic Mountain
L'Heure Bleue
PM show
The Big Nowhere
Days of eclipse
S-N-W-O
Nothing of North
Landscape and affect
California Bienniale
Shape Shifters
3 Fireplaces

   

The work can be viewed on the website: http://www.thebluehour.org/


The blue hour, it’s is not really an hour, it’s a minute. Just before dawn, there is a minute of silence. Day birds are not awake yet and night birds are already asleep. Silence in nature, that’s scary! (…) It’s the only moment where one feels nature stops breathing. And that’s scary!
- Quatre Aventures de Reinette et Mirabelle, Eric Rohmer

Inspired by the Southbank Centre’s brutalist architecture and the Hayward Gallery’s location within this concrete landscape, Marie Jager’s site-specific project 'The Blue Hour' reintroduces nature into the the architectural system without undermining the ideals intrinsic to brutalism.

The work takes its title from the French expression ‘l’heure bleue’, which refers to a moment in the early morning when all birds – both diurnal and nocturnal – sleep, and nature is completely silent.

Out of doors, at the entrance of the Hayward Gallery, a recording of birdsong can be heard at all times of day or night, apart from one single minute when it is interrupted by silence. Night birds will be heard at night, followed by the ‘blue hour’ at 5 am, and day birds in the afternoon and evening.

Inside, The Blue Hour casts an azure light over everything. On one wall, a clock is permanently indicating 5 in the morning, the local time when the blue hour occurs. Across on the other wall an aerial photograph printed on blueprint paper represents the location of the sound recording.





Art in General March 25 - May 28 2011 New York


I don’t think you experience time when you listen to music. You experience music and you experience change and you experience rhythm and whatever. The only way you can experience time is when there is silence. When there is nothing else. Then you can experience time. When there’s nothing else, then you can experience space.
- Robert Barry



Art in General is pleased to present Marie Jager’s L’heure bleue as the first project to debut in it’s newly launched Musée Miniscule.

Marie Jager’s L’heure bleue takes the form of a site-specific installation, transforming Art in General’s elevator into a space that encapsulates what writer Rebecca Solnit refers to as, “the blue of distance.” As the elevator moves between floors, an endless recording of night and day birds fills the space. The elevator becomes a moving clock. Yet rather than mark each hour with a sound, the passage of time is marked by silence. This moment of quiet is only a minute and can only be heard once a day between 5:59 AM and 6 AM (Eastern Standard Time).

Referring to a specific moment in the early morning when all birds, diurnal and nocturnal, are asleep, L’heure bleue is the French expression to refer to this moment of pure silence in nature. -Courtenay Finn




Light & Wire September 20 - October 28 2010 Los Angeles


The title of the exhibition is based on the French expression, “l’heure bleue”, or the blue hour, which refers to a moment in the early morning when all birds, diurnal and nocturnal, are asleep and one can experience total silence in nature.

The piece will appear for the duration of the show on the home page of Light and Wire's website, as a succession of monochrom photographs of the LA sky, in actual Los Angeles time and on a 24 hour loop, together with sound recordings of night or day birds. Everyday from 5:59 AM to 6 AM, Los Angeles Time (Pacific Standard Time), the website will become silent and the photograph will depict that specific blue sky one can see at that moment between night and day.

The viewer, depending on the time zone where they are located when accessing the website, will experience day, night, and the blue hour at a different time than their own. The piece functions like a clock or chimes, but instead of marking the passage of time with sound or a bell ring, it is marked by a brief silence interrupting 24 hours of continuous sound.