Paul Devens (Maastricht, 1965) studied at the Academy for Fine Arts and the Jan van Eyck Academy in Maastricht. His work oscillates in between installation, video, sound, performance and architecture.
More information on Paul Devens
The main focus of my work is generally a questioning of seemingly naturalized conceptions of the reality surrounding us. My attempt is to offer alternative models in opposition to the preconstructed models of understanding originating from commercial interests. In all my work the feeling of uncertainty and surprise provided by the unexpectedness of the situation is always a central element.
Relocating and reinterpreting objects from popular culture (see for instance Moped 2) or minimal, almost invisible gestures (see Sunday or Coffee), I try to focus on an everyday reality that surrounds us at all times and that we tend to take for granted. I am especially interested in how this reality is communicated and in the codes contained in the structures through which it is communicated.
This same interest is at the basis of my sound art, which can roughly be divided into installations and performances. The performances are live acts or concerts made from computer generated sounds, recordings and improvisations. I base these compositions upon musical figures taken from commercial pop music. By reinventing the sounds and the aesthetics we are used to, my attempt is, once again, to remove them from the symbolical and rhetorical clichés they are normally associated with. Varying in expression from dance to pure noise, my music freely moves from one aesthetical expression to another.
The installations are architectonical constructions especially designed for the physical experience of sound (see for example Serials or Stena). Each installation has a specific soundtrack or composition, and the presence of the audience is integrated as part of the work.
His work was to be heard or seen at museums, non-profit spaces and other venues like:
museum Z33, Hasselt (BE), Le Magasin, Grenoble (FR), het Bonnefantenmuseum, Maastricht (NL), Museum Van Bommel Van Dam, Venlo (NL), ICA, Amsterdam, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, ISP, Office for Contemporary Art, Kunstnernes Hus, Oslo (NO), Galleriet F15 Moss (NO), Marres, Maastricht (NL), Galerie de l’Esplanade, Paris, Neu Aachener Kunstverein, Aachen (DE), le Lieu Unique, Nantes, le Confort Moderne, Poitiers, Deutche Institut, Roma, Balans, Istanbul, ITU MIAM, Istanbul (biennale), Experimental Intermedia New York, Paul Klein Gallery, Chicago, etc.
Paul Devens sometimes cooperates with choreographers, filmmakers, musicians and poets. Devens lives and works in Maastricht, NL