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Overview

As part of the Collateral Events of the 58th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, the Fondation is hosting a new exhibition 'Hors-les-murs', Elsewhen, displaying a whole new installation by French artist Philippe Parreno at the Espace Louis Vuitton Venezia. Emerging on the art scene in the early 1990s, Philippe Parreno constantly changes the relationship of an artwork and its exhibition ‒ the very notion of the exhibition is a creative piece; a polyphonic entity that he conceives as a large automaton composed of diverse media, ranging from film, IT and soundtrack, to drawing, sculpture and animation. These elements come together in a scripted space, a choreography using a recurrent vocabulary that notably includes marquees, balloons, music, sounds, films and objects to create an intangible sensory experience. Time is also a core component, setting a tempo for the exhibition: time-coded computer programmes create sequences, control sound, lighting effects and activate spaces and objects. In Elsewhen, Parreno creates an...

As part of the Collateral Events of the 58th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, the Fondation is hosting a new exhibition "Hors-les-murs", Elsewhen, displaying a whole new installation by French artist Philippe Parreno at the Espace Louis Vuitton Venezia. 

Emerging on the art scene in the early 1990s, Philippe Parreno constantly changes the relationship of an artwork and its exhibition ‒ the very notion of the exhibition is a creative piece; a polyphonic entity that he conceives as a large automaton composed of diverse media, ranging from film, IT and soundtrack, to drawing, sculpture and animation. These elements come together in a scripted space, a choreography using a recurrent vocabulary that notably includes marquees, balloons, music, sounds, films and objects to create an intangible sensory experience. Time is also a core component, setting a tempo for the exhibition: time-coded computer programmes create sequences, control sound, lighting effects and activate spaces and objects.

In Elsewhen, Parreno creates an experience where memory of the past comes together in a disruptive temporality. The familiar markers of perception are annihilated in favour of a stimulating process of inventing new ways of understanding, defying rational categories and the established order.

Parreno has used the activity of living microorganisms housed in a bioreactor conceived and engineered by scientists Jean-Baptiste Boulé (CNRS ‒ French National Centre for Scientific Research, French National Museum of Natural History, Sorbonne University) and Nicolas Desprat (Statistical Physics Laboratory, Ecole Normale Supérieure, PSL Research ‒ University Paris-Diderot Sorbonne Paris-Cité) to run his exhibitions since If This Then Else (Gladstone Gallery, New York, 2016). Yeasts have continued to grow and mutate throughout major exhibitions at Tate Modern, London, the Jumex Museum, Mexico City, or the Gropius Bau, Berlin. Each presentation is an experiment that measures reactions of the microorganisms to their environment which, in turn, will influence the exhibition. This new work continues this story and the enduring development of the microorganisms, the memory of the exhibition played back as remembered by the bioreactor.

 While the walls are covered in a phosphorescent yellow wallpaper patterned with black irises, a grand luminous marquee, reinventing those that once stood on top of cinema entrances, floats above a large vertical mechanical mirrored shutter. An experimental hybrid digital programme controls these interdependent elements, causing light to appear or disappear at irregular intervals by rotating the louvres and forcing pulses of air or synthetically generated sounds, all echoing the microorganisms’ reactions integrated in the programme. As the blinds move, the mirror reflects silhouettes of viewers and the structure of the marquee. When the light turns out, all shapes become ghostlike, accentuated by the phosphorescent walls mutating to dark green and black. Far from their initial utilitarian nature, the elements take on a playfully equivocal identity, bringing the pulse of life into the space and building a singular interaction between the viewer and the context.

Exhibition view of Philippe Parreno: Elsewhen, Espace Louis Vuitton, Venezia, 2019

Photo credit: Andrea Rossetti 

Espace Louis Vuitton Venezia

Calle del Ridotto, 1353 30124
Venice, Italy

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