Bernard Heidsieck, Circuits intégrés I, 1989, Mixed media on paper card, 72 × 50.5 × 0.5 cm, Edition of 7 plus I AP
Courtesy of Archivio Conz, Berlin
1 / 1
  • Mixed media on paper card
  • 72 × 50.5 × 0.5 cm
    (28 ⅜ × 19 ⅞ × ¼ inches)
  • Inquire
  • Bernard Heidsieck was a French sound poet who experimented with spoken word and magnetic recording techniques. Parallel to his position as vice president of the Banque Française du Commerce Extérieur in Paris, his artistic career spanned a variety of movements such as Beat, Fluxus, and Minimalism. Heidsieck began performing his Poèmes-Partitions pieces in the mid-1950s, using typographical spacing to direct his performances. Subsequently, he began using a tape recorder as a supplementary device for writing and retransmitting, expanding his experimental horizons. Since he was an opponent of passive reading and an advocate of active and participatory poetry, Heidsick’s performances often included expressive features, such as physical gestures or the use of props. Like Henri Chopin, Heidsick is recognized as one of the leading innovators of sound poetry in France. From the juxtaposition of phonetic experiments and magnetophonic technologies with tape recording and cut-up techniques, the exploration of a new artistic language was pursued through the rapid development of electronic technology. Heidsieck regularly worked on poems and recording series, such as Trois Biopsies (1967–70), Passe-Partouts (1969–80), and Derviche/Le Robert (1982–86), a collection of twenty-six sound poems. Later works include the Respirations et Brèves Rencontres series (1988–1995), which use recordings of the breathing of famous authors to create the illusion of interaction or dialogue with the deceased writers. Another milestone is Vaduz, originally composed in 1974 for the inauguration of the Vaduz Art Foundation and reissued by Edizioni Conz in 1998 in a fine boxed set. For this, Heidsieck placed Lichtenstein’s capital city at the center of a lengthy anthropological and ethnographic description of the mingling of cultures around the world. A former president of the Commission Poésie at the Centre National du Livre, Heisick also co-founded the “Rencontres internationales de poésie sonore,” which took place in Rennes, Havre, and at the Pompidou Centre in Paris in 1980. Heidsieck additionally spent several years assisting in the organization of the Polyphonix festival, which he presided after Jean-Jacques Lebel. In total, Bernard Heidsieck staged over 540 public readings of his works in twenty-four countries. Beginning in 2017, the Centre Pompidou has awarded an annual non-book literary prize in honor of and named after Bernard Heidsieck. Since 2022, the Archivio Conz has partnered with the prize.

Artworks (22)