Alexandre Joly: a listening invitation


At the Biennial of Art and Urban Nature (re) in Geneva, artist Alexandre Joly invites us to enjoy an immersive experience, where listening becomes a veritable sensory symphony.

Alexandre Joly's innovative artistic approach encourages us to listen to the world around us through an immersive work-instruction entitled Listen to the Waves. Following his instructions, visitors are guided through a sound meditation in which every sound, from the waves to the murmur of the city, is rediscovered with renewed attention. This captivating experience invites us to (re-)connect deeply with our environment by apprehending it with full awareness.

The Art and Urban Nature Biennial (re) (02)

Listen to the Waves, Alexandre Joly
Alexandre Joly's work-instruction as part of the Biennial of Art and Urban Nature (re) - Beyond Water, 2023

Through his instruction, Alexandre Joly invites us to listen. To listen fully: to the waves, the wind, but also to traffic, birds and even light. Like a sound meditation that gradually leads to a form of peace, the artist acts as a guide, pointing out the different steps to follow.
Beneath the text, an abstract pattern seems to undulate, an impression further reinforced by the positioning of the words. By forcing the eye to zigzag, the poster provokes a hypnotic sensation. As your mind floats on the waves, there is silence, except for the sound you have to listen for. It's no longer a question of hearing, without paying attention, all the ambient noises of the city and the lake, but of listening to them, concentrating on them, rediscovering them as if they were reaching our ears for the first time.

Alexandre Joly recording sounds at Lac des Vernes, Meyrin
Alexandre Joly recording sound material at Lac des Vernes in Meyrin, Geneva, 2023

Alexandre Joly also presents the sound work Ville subaquatique et mondes parallèles. This audio creation can be heard on lines M3 and M4 of the Mouettes genevoises, as well as at the Alpine Botanical Garden and on the shores of Lac des Vernes. During two special events, on Saturday 16 September and Saturday 23 September, meyrin ensemble and (re) organised a listening session using headphones to encourage immersion. Thanks to recordings made day and night in the lake, equipped listeners can immerse themselves in a dreamlike aquatic universe. This unique work allows all those who listen to it to escape by losing themselves in the spellbinding sounds of the parallel world created by the artist.

Mouettes genevoises on the move
Headsets to be discovered on the Mouettes genevoises M3 and M4 shuttles during the Biennial, Geneva, © Photo: Mouettes genevoises
Lac des Vernes, Meyrin
Sound journey to Lac des Vernes organised on 23 September in Meyrin, Geneva, 2023, © Photo: Laurent Barlier
Biennial visitor at Lac des Vernes, Meyrin
Visitors to the Biennial on a sound journey to Lac des Vernes on 23 September in Meyrin, Geneva, 2023, © Photo: Lucille Chaboche
Visitor to the Biennial at the Alpine Botanic Garden, Meyrin
Biennial visitor on a sound journey at the Alpine Botanic Garden on 16 September, Geneva, 2023, © Photo: Léna Lacrabère
Audio signage at the Alpine Botanical Garden, Meyrin
Audio QR code to scan at the Alpine Botanic Garden, Geneva, 2023, © Photo: Léna Lacrabère

By inviting us to listen carefully and rediscover the beauty of nature through art, Joly reminds us of the importance of contemplation and a deep connection with our environment. This astonishing experience is designed to (re)awaken your senses and open your mind to new perspectives on our relationship with the natural world.