Anechoic wall

Laurent Grasso

Date : 2010

Medium : Sculpture

Size : 101,6 x 161,3 x 19,7 cm


Anechoic Wall is a structure echoing that of anechoic chambers which stifle sound and magnetic waves. In this piece, the reflection of sound is doubled with that of light due to the structure’s glossy, black lacquer finish and its copper composition. Laurent Grasso (re)activates forms that can be identified as part of our society’s systems of control, and distorts the cinematographic techniques and conventions that shape our collective imagination. In doing so, he creates environments with strong narrative potential where universal ancestral fears mingle with threatening contemporary scientific and mythological accounts.


The guide

The eclectic French artist Laurent Grasso seizes on any subject and any material to offer us an alternative vision of our environment.

What is this form, half sculpture and half painting?
The title should orient us: Anechoic Wall.

But this is not particularly revealing. A little etymology may help. “Anechoic” is a Greek word formed by combining the prefix an-, meaning “without”, and “echo”. Therefore: an “echo-free wall”. Are you starting to understand? 

The artist is using an item from the field of acoustics. An anechoic chamber, or soundproof room, is a room in which the walls are covered with a polyhedral structure made of material with sound-absorbent properties. For this system to work, however, all the walls must be covered. Here the artist only offers us a segment, which cancels out the object’s primary function.

What’s more, look at the shiny surface of the object. It reflects our image. We can almost see ourselves within it. The surface of the work comes to life and plays with light, creating a shimmering effect that invokes movement and transforms the surrounding space.

The metal, more precisely, copper, is known for its conductive properties. It is the antithesis of the polyurethane foam normally used to insulate soundproof rooms.

In this way Grasso reinvents the readymade, the reuse of objects, by drawing from the sciences and introducing a touch of poetry into a usually austere domain.
By rejecting the object’s technical properties, he reveals its physical and aesthetic qualities.