The body is a site where various forms of knowledge converge. This knowledge is a manifestation of the information that the body has gathered, conscious and unconsciously, in a reckoning with its sensory experiences, creating our sensory knowledge spaces. These spaces situate themselves like a reality extracted from science-fiction and placed into our realm to tell its version of our stories.
Multi media artist Camille Norment often uses the notion of cultural psychoacoustics as both an aesthetic and conceptual framework. She defines this term as the examination of socio-cultural phenomena through sound and music, and the contexts in which they are produced. She applies this concept towards the creation of critical works that consciously interweave the formal and the contextual.
Her artwork utilizes forms including sound, installation, light sculptures, drawing, performance, and video, all united by a preoccupation with the way in which form, space, and the body of the viewer create aesthetic and conceptual experience. She seeks to engage the viewer as a physical and psychological participant in the work and as such, is interested in creating experiences that are both somatic and cognitive. While highly concerned with aesthetic experience, the work simultaneously spans the thresholds of the social and the political, often utilizing specific cultural symbols as ‘quiet’, but potent elements in the work. Her investigations do not reflect the boundaries of a singular cultural agenda or perspective, but rather the pressing through of intersections and contradictions from various cultural realms. As such, a singular element specifically charged in one context is expanded to reveal a macrocosm of contextual interpretations. Ambivalent cultural memories are condensed into physical, spatial, and temporal experiences that have the hallucinatory qualities of psychological atmospheres.
Camille performs as a solo artist, with other musicians in selected projects, and with her ensemble, the Camille Norment Trio. She assembled the ensemble consisting of electric guitar, Norwegian hardingfele, and the rare glass armonica, to explore the instruments’ collective sensual and cultural psychoacoustics, across genre boundaries. Sonic dissonance, and forms of cognitive dissonance are current motifs she uses to draw an audience into the experience of the work, by creating and revealing various perceptual sonic, and socio-cultural tensions.
Each of the instruments were simultaneously revered and feared or even outlawed at various points in their histories. Through deconstructions of ‘beauty’ and ‘noise’, ‘harmony’ and ‘dissonance’, the visceral atmospheres they produce resonate through a tantalizing union of the instruments’ voices and their paradoxical cultural histories.
Norment was selected to produce a solo project for the Nordic pavilion in the Venice Biennial, 2015.
Amongst several permanent public artworks, Norment was commissioned a permanent sound installation for the Henie Onstad Art Center (2011). The extensive international fine arts exhibition credits also include: exhibition and performance in the Museum of Modern Art, New York (2013); a commissioned artwork and performance for the Museum of Contemporary Art, Oslo (2012); Liste Young Art Fair (2009); the Thessaloniki Biennial, Greece (2007); Kunsthalle Bern, Switzerland; the Charlottenborg Fonden, Copenhagen, Denmark; the Santa Monica Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA.; the Studio Museum of Harlem, New York, NY; UKS Gallery, Oslo, Norway; the Bildmuseet, in Umeå, Sweden, and radio broadcast in the Venice Biennial, Venice, Italy. Norment’s work has been written about in periodicals such as Art Forum, Art in America, The New York Times, Kunst Kritikk, Aftenposten, a feature in The Wire Magazine, and numerous other international texts.