Out of Breath

This radio creation by JPR refers to specific events in French politics : the Bettencourt Affair, which occurred in summer 2010, when we resided at Oberhausen Gasometer. Out of Breath links documents of this affair with the spectacular acoustic qualities of this industrial space.

“For the Radia art camp at the Gasometer in Oberhausen I was literally ‘Out of Breath’ for two main reasons, firstly because I climbed  the 800 steps of the outdoor staircase of the Gasometer as the thermometer hit 36° C, and secondly because I feel worn out by the state of French politics, in particular the L’Oreal family feud which has led to a series of investigations concerning political donations, tax evasion and money laundering.

I decided to voice this fatigue by reading the offensive comments by readers on the French investigative journalism website Mediapart’s decision to publish extracts from secret recordings between L’Oreal heiress and Europe’s richest woman Liliane Bettencourt, and her financial advisor Patrick De Maistre. In these recordings, De Maistre clearly advises Liliane on how to corrupt government members and the best way to avoid a hefty tax bill.

Using the incredible resonance of the Gasometer, where every sigh, click, hum and cough are amplified to enormous proportions ‘Out of Breath’ is a radio creation that addresses the idea of suffocation through in situ readings and location recordings intercut with extracts from the actual tapes.”

Out of Breath is curated by Radia and was first broadcasted on Kunst Radio, November 2010. (total time : 32min)

Out of Breath and its prequel Vox Populistealso conceived during the Gasometer Experience, constitute the Bettencourt Diptych, Liliane Song.

Liliane Bettencourt, by JPR