The 56th Venice Biennale and the Rapture sound installation

Anybody who visited the Nordic Pavilion at the Venice Biennale will have encountered the extraordinary project by artist Camille Norment: Rapture.

Rapture is a sound and sculpture installation for which the artist composed the music ad hoc with a glass harmonica – a legendary instrument from the eighteenth century that creates an ethereal sound because of the water in the glass.

Through this sound, the artist wishes to express the sense of a ‘rift’ as a state of ecstasy, loss of the self and transgression.

The impression upon entering the building was of entering a suspended dimension, of being pierced by a natural force that vibrated and caused such intense goose bumps that some people had to step away from that unbearable powerful wave.

“Music has a profound influence on the body and this can easily be used to control the mind, it is connected to the unconscious” explains the artist. “For a long time, it was a medium used to create social cohesion, the secret goal desired by authoritarian regimes and more recently by corporations that want to impose their presence on the collective conscience and by armies who use sound to manipulate and torture. If music is the language of emotions, its control and manipulation is a powerful weapon.”

Camille Norment - Rapture
Camille Norment – photo OCA-Herman Dreyer


In the interview, Camille Norment goes on to explain the piece Rapture as follows: “It presents an unstable situation that develops by demanding that the visitor contemplates, forecasts and shapes the future. I suggest people seek ecstasy, transgression and the loss of the self towards an altered state of existence. While the Biennale aims to represent the whole world in a compressed space and time, my work aims to challenge preconceptions.