Jeu de Paume in Paris is closed until 28 September 2024 due to the Olympic Games. Visit our exhibitions in Tours, Reims and Paris Plages.

Online creation


As part of Fourth Worlds

From 01 June to 30 November 2018

Idylls by Lieven Martens opens the ‘Fourth Worlds’ project proposed by Stefanie Kiwi Menrath for the Jeu de Paume virtual space.

« Aharen, a classic small beach town stuck in a fabricated memory of 80’s surf movies, was to be our home for just a few days. While walking through its snake infested bush and through its lagoon, while photographing, the Tombeau De Robert Louis Stevenson, a composition I was hinting at in live environments, became reality inside a patchwork of history, of coral reefs… »
Taking the form of a 12-page book accompanying an LP disc, Lieven Martens Moana’s Idylls initially presents itself to the listener through concentrated and intentional sound-prose poems of the life of Robert Louis Stevenson as Martens attempts to « see through the eyes of RLS ». Because of Martens’ ability to poetically reflect Stevenson’s obsessions, we can hear field recordings not just as documents, but as compositions and imaginative story-boards of a poet’s journals in the locales of Polynesia.

The uniqueness of Idylls rests upon the artist’s willingness to arrive at strange and difficult compositions by way of natural story-telling and inspired readings. As Martens himself puts it: « [Idylls], being a portrait, an ethnographic study, an exotic illustration and a ritual. The latter used in the most mundane sense ever, since I’d like to stay far away from a sensational bubblegum approach to (religious) ethnography, to the copying of ethnic behaviour, or to approaching it as something odd or weird. These behaviourisms unavoidably invoke the end of all rituals, thus making the world a duller place. As being interested in the exotic, (c.q. the exotist), an act under constant scrutiny, it is a duty to observe and sustain, to withdraw and refrain. »

Lieven Martens

Lieven Martens (Moana, Dolphins Into The Future) is seeking a thorough aestheticism of the impression. Using analog and digital recording techniques, he creates an experimental form of music that refers to ethnomusicology, sound art and modern classical composition. The resulting contemporary musical dialect is sometimes augmented live by lectures and slide projections. Martens has performed all over the globe, from Mexico City, to Tokyo, to Lisbon, Lecce and Brussels, and has written commissioned music for ensemble, for the national radio, for a commercial and for art exhibitions.