Curriculum Vitae

«Using simple and functional components, Zimoun builds architecturally-minded platforms of sound. Exploring mechanical rhythm and flow in prepared systems, his installations incorporate commonplace industrial objects. In an obsessive display of simple and functional materials, these works articulate a tension between the orderly patterns of Modernism and the chaotic forces of life. Carrying an emotional depth, the acoustic hum of natural phenomena in Zimoun's minimalist constructions effortlessly reverberates.» Laura Blereau

Zimoun lives and works in Bern, Switzerland, where he develops and realizes his work with the support of a team of assistants. His work has been presented internationally, recent displays of his work include exhibitions at the Museum Haus Konstruktiv Zurich; Museum of Contemporary Art MAC Santiago de Chile; Nam June Paik Art Museum Seoul; Kuandu Museum Taipei; Art Museum Reina Sofia Madrid; Ringling Museum of Art Florida; Mumbai City Museum; National Art Museum Beijing; LAC Museum Lugano; Seoul Museum of Art; Museum MIS São Paulo; Muxin Art Museum Wuzhen; Kunsthalle Bern; Taipei Fine Arts Museum; Le Centquatre Paris; Museum of Contemporary Art Busan; Museum of Fine Arts MBAL; Kunstmuseum Bern; Museum Collection Lambert Avignon; among others.


Zimoun is best known for his installative, generally site-specific, immersive works. He employs mechanical principles of rotation and oscillation to put materials into motion and thus produce sounds. For this he principally uses simple materials from everyday life and industrial usage, such as cardboard, DC motors, cables, welding wire, wooden spars or ventilators. For his works Zimoun develops small apparatuses which, despite their fundamental simplicity, generate a tonal and visual complexity once activated – particularly when a large number of such mechanical contraptions, generally hundreds of them, are united and orchestrated in installations and sculptures. 

Zimoun’s works continually embrace oppositional positions, such as the principles of order and chaos. Works may be arranged in a geometrical pattern or ordered and installed according to a system, yet they behave chaotically and act – within a carefully prepared framework of possibilities – in an uncontrolled manner as soon as they are mechanically activated. As if in a clinical study, the pattern and the systematic approach enable an overview, so that the chaos generated by the mechanical process can be better analysed. Mass and individuality also belong among these oppositional positions. The artist often employs a large number of identical elements, but each element develops its own individuality and unique nature through the dynamic interplay of mechanism, rotation and material. The mechanical elements, prepared by hand in the studio, which have a consistently reduced, minimalistic form, function and aesthetic, possess only apparent precision, because the manual production creates divergence from the ideal treatment of the material, allowing imprecisions that emphasise the emerging individual behaviour of the materials, enable it or indeed provoke it.

When naming his works Zimoun consistently follows the principle of listing the materials used one after another. With this he brings materials to the fore; in addition, the titles signal the ‘prepared’ mechanism, indicating the connection to intentionally tonally manipulated musical instruments. His works are often defined using the term of sound architectures, based on the principles of Minimal Music, to which he brings a visual aspect while insisting on a simple, reduced design without embellishment or additional colour.

Although Zimoun conceives of his installations as compositions in a musical sense, he does not actively intervene in the development of their sound. He does not direct the mechanical systems implemented either in an analogue manner or digitally, via a microcontroller or a computer, instead merely activating them by turning on or off their electricity supply. He sees the moment of activation and the dynamic of the materials themselves as a sculptural and performative approach and names the principle behind these works ‘primitive complexity’.

In addition to his installative compositions, Zimoun also develops purely acoustic works. Although the two genres – visual, un-controlled, accidental compositions and musical compositions for sound recording and performance that are laboriously constructed in the studio – may seem quite different at first, both emerge from the artist’s interest in creating spaces and acoustic states which are composed of microscopically small sounds and noises. Zimoun’s recordings are often, like the performative concert arrangements, conceived of for multi-channel sound systems. Through the implementation of multiple loudspeakers, listeners are placed within a three-dimensional sonic architecture which cannot be discovered visually, but only acoustically. Zimoun also works on recordings with other artists from music and the visual arts. Many of these recordings have been released by the Leerraum label, which he founded in 2003 together with graphic designer Marc Beekhuis and which is focussing on reductive concepts.

Text by Ulf Kallscheidt. Translation by Aoife Rosenmeyer. Sikart Lexicon.

Exhibitions

Selected Exhibitions 2005–2021
* = Solo Exhibitions

2021 Museum Haus Konstruktiv, Zürich, Switzerland.*
The Museum, Kitchener, Canada.
CODA Museum, Apeldoorn, the Netherlands.
2020 Museum of Contemporary Art Busan, Republic of Korea.
Art Museum Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain.
Stadtgalerie, Saarbrücken, Germany.*
2019 Museum of Contemporary Art MAC, Santiago, Chile.*
Muxin Art Museum, Wuzhen, China.
Museum Collection Lambert, Avignon, France.*
NYUAD Arts Gallery, Abu Dhabi.*
2018 Museum of Contemporary Art Busan, Republic of Korea.*
Museum Art.Plus, Donaueschingen, Germany.*
Telefónica, Lima, Peru.*
2017 Museum of Contemporary Art Kunst(Zeug)Haus, Switzerland.*
Le Centquatre, Paris, France.*
Rå Hal, Capital of Culture, Aarhus, Denmark.*
2016 Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taipei, Taiwan.
Museum Galleria Civica di Modena, Italy.*
Museum of Fine Arts, Le Locle, Switzerland.*
Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Mumbai City Museum, Mumbai, India.*
Museum of Fine Arts, Thun, Switzerland.
Calgary Contemporary, Calgary, Canada.*
Contemporary Art Museum MAC, Santiago de Chile.
BIAN Biennale, Montreal, Canada.
2015 LAC Art Museum, Lugano, Switzerland.*
Knockdown Center NYC, New York, USA.*
bitforms gallery NYC, New York, USA.*
Central for Contemporary Art, Brussels, Belgium.*
MOTA Museum, Lublijana, Slovenia.*
Borusan Contemporary, Istanbul, Turkey.
2014 National Art Museum of China, Beijing, China.
Museum of Fine Arts, Lugano, Switzerland.*
Beall Art Center, Los Angeles, USA.*
Kunstverein Mannheim, Germany.*
2013 Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul, Republic Korea.
Museum of Fine Arts, Rennes, France.*
Harnett Museum of Art, Richmond, USA.
Museum of Fine Arts, Bern, Switzerland.
Museum Les Champs Libres, Rennes, France.*
Le Centquatre, Paris, France.
2012 Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts, Taipei, Taiwan.
Nam June Paik Museum, Soeul, Republic Korea.
Museum MIS São Paulo, São Paulo, Brasil.*
Borusan Contemporary, Istanbul, Turkey.
MSUM Museum of Contemporary Art, Ljubljana, Slovenia.*
bitforms gallery, New York, USA.*
2011 The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota FL, USA.*
Contemporary Art Museum MNAC, Bucharest, Romania.*
GAFTA Art Space, San Francisco, USA.*
Lydgalleriet, Bergen, Norway.*
Galerie Denise René, Paris, France.*
Kunsthalle Luzern, Switzerland.*
List Art Center, David Winton Bell Gallery, Providence, USA.
Mois Multi Arts Center, Québec City, Canada.
2010 Museum of Contemporary Art Liechtenstein.*
Museum Vasarely' Fondation, Aix en Provence, France.
Arts Center Vooruit, Gent, Belgium.*
La Rada, Locarno, Switzerland.*
Biennial of Contemporary Art ULA-2010, Venezuela.
Frankfurter Kunstverein, Germany.
2009 Museum of Fine Arts, Bern, Switzerland.
bitforms gallery, NYC, USA.
2008 Miller Fine Art Center, Mcminnville, USA.
Kunsthalle, Bern, Switzerland.
2006 Stadtgalerie, Bern, Switzerland.*
2005 Kunsthalle, Bern, Switzerland.
Museum of Fine Arts, Bern, Switzerland.
Tonus Labor, Bern, Switzerland.*

Live Performances

Selected live Performances 2004–2020

2020 Kino Rex, Bern, Switzerland.
Bahnstrasse 44, Bern, Switzerland.
Art Gallery New York University Abu Dhabi. 
2019

Museum of Contemporary Art MAC Santiago de Chile.
New York University Abu Dhabi.
Orbital Garden, Bern, Switzerland.

2018 Outbound, Berlin, Germany.
Gnration, Blackbox, Braga, Portugal.
Orbital Garden, Bern, Switzerland.
2017 Royal Academy of Music, Aarhus, Denmark.
Orbital Garden, Bern, Switzerland.
Dampfzentrale Bern, Switzerland.
Orbital Garden Laboratory, Bern, Switzerland.
2016 Museum Galleria Civica di Modena, Italy.
CT::SWaM, NYC, USA.
Orbital Garden, Bern, Switzerland.
2015 Knockdown Center NYC, USA.
Dampfzentrale Bern, Switzerland.
2013 Haus der elektronischen Künste, Basel, Switzerland.
Headfun, Presences Electroniques, Geneva, Switzerland.
2012 List Art Center, Brown University, Providence, USA.
Störung Festival, Barcelona, Spain.
2011 Nuit Blanche Art Festival, New York, USA.
Mois Multi, Québec, Canada.
Tonus Labor, Bern, Switzerland.
Weltecho Galerie, Chemnitz, Germany.
Swissnex, San Francisco, USA.
2010 Drake Underground / Yatra Arts Toronto, Canada.
Tonus Labor Bern, Switzerland.
R3s3t, Bern, Switzerland.
2009 Transmediale, Berlin, Germany.
2008 Elektra Festval, Montreal, Canada.
Sonic Acts Festival, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
Elektroni[k] Festival,Rennes, France.
Tag, Den Haag, the Netherlands.
Yatra Arts / Interacess, Toronto, Canada.
Blurred Edges Festival, Hamburg, Germany.
Ausland, Berlin, Germany.
Kornhaus, Bern, Switzerland.
RH Studio, New York, USA.
Staatsgalerie, Stuttgart, Germany.
Casa del Popolo, Montreal, Canada.
Institute for Advanced Studies, Philadephia, USA.
Monkey Town, New York, USA.
Melkweg, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
2007 Lmak Projects, New York, USA.
Dissonanze Festival, Roma, Italy.
Zentrale Randlage, Berlin, Germany.
Theatre L'L, Bruxelles/Brussels, Belgium.
Kulturbunker Mühlheim, Cologne, Germany.
Festival de Marseille, Marseille, France.
Hörbar, Hamburg, Germany.
Intro, Maastricht, the Netherlands.
Hamilton Arts Collective, Baltimore, USA.
2006 Kunstraum, Aarau, Switzerland.
osc/8 Festival, Geneva, Switzerland.
ACAF, Alexandria, Egypt.
Jesuit Art Center, Cairo, Egypt.
2005 Gallery Wandelbar, Gstaad, Switzerland.
Cave12, Geneva, Switzerland.
Dampfzentrale, Bern, Switzerland.
2004 DDM Gallery, Shanghai, China.
Yan Art Space, Beijing, China.
Mokka, Thun, Switzerland.
Tonus Labor, Bern, Switzerland.

Public Collections & Permanent Works

Museum Haus Konstruktiv, Zurich, Switzerland.
Haus der elektronischen Künste, Basel, Switzerland.
Museum of Contemporary Art MoCA, Busan, South Korea.
Museum of Fine Arts, Lugano, Switzerland.
The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota, Florida, USA.
Contemporary Art Museum MAC Santiago de Chile.
Museum of Fine Arts, Thun, Switzerland.
Borusan Contemporary, Istanbul, Turkey.
Museum of Contemporary Art Kunst(Zeug)Haus, Rapperswil, Switzerland.
Villa Datris, L'Isle-Sur-La-Sorgue, France.
Raja Art Collection, France.
Luciano Benetton Collection, Italy.
Art Collection Canton Bern, Switzerland.
Public Art, City of Bern, Switzerland.
Public Art / Kunst am Bau, Lyss, Switzerland.
Private collections.

 

Workshops & Lectures

2020 University of the Arts HKB CAP, Guest Semester, Bern, Switzerland.
University of the Arts HKB Sound Arts, Bern, Switzerland.
ZHdK Zurich University of the Arts, Switzerland. 
2019

New York University Abu Dhabi.
Contemporary Art Museum MAC, Santiago de Chile.
Fachhochschule Nordwestschweiz, Hochschule für Kunst, Basel, Switzerland.

2018 Casa da Música, Porto, Portugal.
2017 Royal Academy of Music, Aarhus, Denmark.
2016 Aarhus University, Denmark.
Contemporary Art Museum MAC, Santiago de Chile.
2015 The New School NYC, Albert and Vera List Academic Center, New York, USA.
Aalto University, Helsinki, Finnland.
Stony Brook University, New York, USA.
Hochschule für Musik, Basel, Switzerland.
2014 St Joost Art Academy, Breda, The Netherlands.
University of Arts, Belgrade, Serbia.
i2a International Institute for Architecture, Lugano, Switzerland.
École supérieure d'arts & medias de Caen, France.
2013 Resonante Festival, Belgrade, Serbia.
ZHdK Zurich University of the Arts, Switzerland. 
School of Fine Arts Rennes, France.
Bern University of the Arts (HKB), Switzerland.
2012 Brown University, Providence, USA.
2011 University of California, Berkeley, USA.
New College of Florida, Sarasota, USA.
Ringling College of Art and Design, Sarasota, USA.
Academy of Fine Arts, Krakow, Poland.
Swissnex, San Francisco, USA.
University of Edinburgh, Inspace, Edinburgh, United Kingdom.
Disco Impossible, Zürich, Switzerland.
2010 Ontario College of Art & Design & Yatra Arts Toronto, Canada.
Osage Gallery, Soho Art Space, Hong Kong, China. 
Node10, Kunstverein, Frankfurt, Germany
Störung Festival, Barcelona, Spain.
2009 EMS, Institute for Electroacoustic Music in Sweden.
2008 School of the Art Institute of Chicago, USA.
Geneva University of Art and Design, Switzerland. 
School of Fine Arts Rennes, France.
2007 ZHdK Zurich University of the Arts, Switzerland.

Discography

2021 Zimoun «Mikroskopien III» [leerraum.net] (stereo).
Zimoun «Various Vibrating Materials» [LINE] (stereo).
2020 Zimoun «Borrowed Sounds IV» [leerraum.net] (stereo).
Norbert Pfammatter + Zimoun «Mikroskopien II» [leerraum.net] (stereo).
Herman Kolgen + Zimoun «43.00» [leerraum.net] (stereo).
Kamran Sadeghi + Zimoun «42.41» [leerraum.net] (stereo).
2019 Zimoun «Mikroskopien I» [leerraum.net] (stereo).
Zimoun «Guitar Studies I» [leerraum.net] (stereo).
2018 Zimoun «Room 1-3» [leerraum.net] (stereo).
Zimoun «Borrowed Sounds III» [leerraum.net] (stereo).
Mise en Scene + Zimoun «28.26» [leerraum.net] (5.1).
Andy Graydon + Zimoun «16.06» [leerraum.net] (5.1).
Sylvain Darrifourcq + Zimoun «Outbound» [leerraum.net] (stereo).
2017 Zimoun «Piano Void» [leerraum.net] (stereo).
2016 Oren Ambarchi + Zimoun «18.58» [leerraum.net] (5.1).
Zimoun «28.34» [leerraum.ch] (5.1).
Zimoun «Granular Material IIX-IX» [leerraum.net] (stereo).
2015 Richard Garet + Zimoun «21.21» [leerraum.net] (5.1).
Zimoun «Room 5.52» [Cyland Audio Archive] (stereo)
Zimoun «Borrowed Sounds II» [leerraum.net] (stereo).
2010 Zimoun «feat. Helena Gough» [leerraum.net] (5.1).
2008 Zimoun «Borrowed Sounds I» [leerraum.net] (stereo).
Mahmoud Refat, Pe Lang + Zimoun «Statics III» [leerraum.net] (4.1).
Asher + Zimoun «Untitled Movement» [leerraum.net] (5.1).
Fourm + Zimoun «Primary Structures» [leerraum.net] (5.1).
2007 Zimoun feat. Mik Keusen «Prepared I» [leerraum.net] (stereo).
Kenneth Kirschner + Zimoun «July 29, 2004 (4.1)» (4.1).
Leerraum [ ] «Sound Contributions I» [leerraum.net] (5.1).
2006 Zimoun «Kabel 0.1/0.2» [leerraum.net] (stereo).
Mahmoud Refat, Pe Lang + Zimoun «Statics II» [leerraum.net] (stereo).
Mahmoud Refat + Zimoun «Statics I» [leerraum.net] (stereo).
2005 Fm3 + Zimoun «live 19.06.2004» [leerraum.net] (stereo).
2004 Zimoun «Nå» [tonus-music-records.com] (stereo).
2003 Zimoun «Flachland» [leerraum.net] (stereo).
Zimoun «Viskos» [leerraum.net] (stereo).
Zimoun «Drums» [leerraum.net] (stereo).

 

Studio Zimoun
Bahnstrasse 44
CH-3008 Bern
Switzerland
hi@zimoun.net