Conch
In situ, Installation, Sound

This spiral staircase from the beginning of the 17th century leads from the castle’s cellar to the upper floors. It reminds a conch’s interiour, a shell traditionnaly used as a music instrument, and in which we hear “the sea and the wind” when we hold it to our ear.

On the floor lies a massive bee wax sphere of 40 cm diametre. It might be wax blocking the ear – or a pearl. In several civilisations there goes the saying that a pearl is born from a raindrop that has fallen into a sea shell. 18th century descriptions of the castle report that visitors were fascinated by the staircase with its open axis. They placed a lit candle on the floor and put it out with a few drops of water spilled through the opening.

Visitors of the exhibition could hear the sound of the waves, the sea, wind and seagulls from the top of the staircase.
A sort of “escape” from the caves that had served for 150 years as prison cells, when the castle was a women prison held by Carmelites. In the strict Carmelite order even the spoken word is prohibited. A counterweight of hope, an echo to the sound installation “Echos” in the cellars right nearby.