ISABELLE  LE  MINH    WORKS


MIRRORS WITH MEMORY


2019


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Five perforated brass plates covered with silver

28,5 x 28,5 cm





In line with her work on Kodak and its inventor, Isabelle Le Minh also devised a series combining two primitive recording procedures, consisting of polished copper plates covered by a thin layer of silver as in daguerreotype technique, which she then perforated like a pianola roll. She was inspired here by one of the many passions of George Eastman, a big lover of the player piano, who owned many such rolls (still present at his house in Rochester). Invented in the late nineteenth century, these supports were the first to be produced industrially to enable music to be quickly and easily disseminated. They are the ancestors of MIDI digital files. While the perforations are analog signals, it is nevertheless impossible to reconstruct any semblance of a melody based on this visual information. Unlike the daguerreotypes – "mirrors of memory" – these works confront us with oblivion and the inexorable loss of understanding of data produced by recording technologies that very rapidly become obsolete.


In a final act of reappropriation, Isabelle Le Minh placed a player piano in the centre of the gallery, another playful reference to the Aeolian mechanical organ found in George Eastman's home. The musical notes that emerge from it are those of the original soundtrack of the film A Place in the Sun (which tells the story of another George Eastman!), composed by Franz Waxman and retranscribed by the artist for solo piano on a MIDI file.