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PIErrE huyghE Paris Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris

Celebration Park, 2006 Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris/ARC © Florian Kleinefenn

JOANA NEVES On the occasion of the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris’ expected reopening –after almost three years under refurbishment works– Pierre Huyghe was invited to carry out a gigantic exhibition, simultaneously presented with Bonnard’s and the new spaces that house the permanent collection (in which, by the way, we should mention Dominique González-Forster’s excellent video Atomic Park). Prized in 2001 by the French Pavilion at Venice’s Biennial , Pierre Huyghe’s name disprove what many described as a stagnation of French contemporary art. Curiously consensual, symptomatically Americanized in his use of mediums and his questioning (let’s not forget he’s represented by American super-gallery Marian Goodman), Pierre Huyghe began basing his work on narrative methods and imagetic clichés of cinema, progressively extending his interrogation to the society of spectacle in general, all of which has ended up in such projects as An Lee –created in collaboration with Philippe Parreno–, in which he invited a group of artists to “animate” a Japanese manga character whose rights had been acquired for that occasion, in an attempt to save her from an anonymous, unfortunate ending. Celebration Park (of course, Huyghe has chosen an English title, as catchy as possible) sets itself apart from space-temporal canons of 106 · ARTECONTEXTO · REVIEWS

museological exhibitions and it consists of a prologue and a development –the exhibition itself-, while the project also includes a plan for building the so-called “Celebration Park”. A relation to the 1937 Universal Expo –which took place the same year the museum was created- is not casual as it is framed within the spirit of temporal demarcation, of both individual and collective experience of an event that has temporal implications (the date) as well as spatial consequences (a monument, a fair…), and clear effects on an emotional history. On the other hand, confirming at the same time the quality of Huyghe’s work, what in principle appears as hermetic and inscrutable, eventually reveals all its clarity. Prologue: a white (gigantic) door automatically opens to a corridor that is flooded with phrases written on neon lights, all of them about the abolition of intellectual property of references that spiritually “belong” to us all: the white of snow, the MAM of Paris, “Fictions”…This is enough to encourage reflection. On the left, we have a glass room with a series of golden calendars, its pages dividing the days, the hours and the minutes. In the second phase, the one of the exhibition itself, the walls have been covered with proposals for possible celebrations made by several artists who were invited by Huyghe. The calendars stand as a incitement for the spectator to take seriously the possibility to re-write his history. Now the enormous doors move across suspended rails, spinning around, taking us to a video in which the artist and Le Corbusier take part on a puppet music show –a work commissioned by the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts (Harvard), whose building was designed by the French architect in 1965. The shadow of the Past (Universal Expo, Le Corbusier) and the possibility of an unexplored territory (depicted in the second video, A Journey that Wasn’t), situate the spectator in a limbo between reality and fiction, creation and accidental event. A Journey that Wasn’t was created during a scientific expedition to an Antarctic island that apparently wasn’t registered by any map and where there was supposed to be an unknown animal species. All in all, those references to this experience that have been transposed to the museum are at times a bit literal: through an open window we can see a topographic reconstruction of the island, while in the second video the concert’s musical division is also an adaptation of the island’s topography. All these transpositions situate us in, and simultaneously remove us from, the experienced space –the exhibition hasn’t been conceived as a joint of parts but as a whole–, just as they reveal more about the notion of fiction and our desire to reinvent (ourselves) than about their own content. However, the clues we gather around become more and more substantial in memory, as they progressively construct a flexible notion of time that is only subject to creation and our whish of the unknown. Á suivre…

Profile for ARTEHOY Publicaciones y Gestion SL

ARTECONTEXTO Nº10.  

Dossier: COMIC WORLD / MUNDO CÓMIC 2006

ARTECONTEXTO Nº10.  

Dossier: COMIC WORLD / MUNDO CÓMIC 2006

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