JUnQ, or the Journal of Unsolved Questions, is modelled on a parallel exercise: to sketch music and to score sculptures. Part exhibition, part book and part album release, JUnQ seeks to propose a collaborative language that binds the algorithmic needs of an artificial pop star to the performance of the artist himself. Boundaries between reality and artifice are blurred in a continuous chain of confrontation and sublimation, wherein a romance between analog evolution and digital experimentation is born.
The immersive project released by PAN represents Erwan Sene’s debut album and the multifaceted nature of his approach. Composed like a chorus of fantastical beasts, the album wanders atmospherically through a fogged wood. Sounds are never used for their default function–– they are sculpted, distorted and amplified, becoming hybrids of themselves. A haunting banshee, the monstrous growl of an Orc, Siren songs wafting through the trees–– these and more are recreated with sinuous violins, muffled harpsichord and digital instruments, culminating in a a vibrant “jungle” of sound.
The JUnQ book
Each page of the JUnQ book dives into the neon structures of Sene’s Cronenberg-like mutations: miniatures, models and ventilation details echo the micro-evolution of Sene’s “imaginary mundane.” Moments of object recognition flicker before receding from view. Appropriating the mechanisms of the COVID-19 pandemic, Sene seeks to conjure the sense of entrapment brought on by infection, affecting containment in the microscopic abstractions he presents of his own sculptural work. Casting his contained biotope as a friend, rather than a foe, the fragmented view of these works imbues them with a sense of intimacy and primacy.
The JUnQ book features a bespoke type designed in collaboration with Marie Mam-Sai Bellier and Marine Stephan. Evocative of archeology and the imagined glyphs traced by lost civilizations, the type provides an (il)legible scripture to JUnQ’s multi-fold universe.
Erwan Sene (b.1991) is an artist and musician based in Paris. His composite body of work is led by a sculptural practice that unfolds on several levels–– reprising, digesting and warping the objects that surround him. He creates polyphonous mise-en-scènes, between baroque remanence and domestic surrealism, addressing themes of contamination, idiopathy and science fiction.
04. Echo When Talking 05. Smoke
09. Block That Kill
10. Black Out Bear
Available via Juno