Winner of an Honourable Mention in VIDA 13.2 for Back, Here, Below, Formidable [the rebirth of prehistoric creatures], for years Marguerite Humeau has been developing this extraordinary project that seeks to “revive the sound of prehistoric creatures” by reconstructing their vocal cavities. Midway between fiction and science (robotics, paleontology, laryngology), the designer received expert advice in making the prototypes, with which she subsequently created a series of sound sculptures. In different exhibitions, Humeau has presented these pieces in the form of an “Opera of prehistoric creatures”, where the audience can hear sounds that could have been made by some of the mammals that roamed the Earth fifty million years ago.
Lucy, one of the first pieces by Humeau, evokes the sounds produced by one of the earliest hominids and is now part of the MoMA collection in New York. With this work, the designer joins the travelling exhibition The Universal Addressability of Dumb Things that can be seen at the Southbank Centre in London this summer. Mark Leckey, artist and curator of the exhibition, says that “the status of objects is changing” and there is “a wonderful instability between things animate and inanimate, animals and humans, mental and material.” The piece by Humeau is part of this reflection since it gives new “life” (simulated and partly fictional) to a fossil.