PHILIPPE PARRENO ELSEWHEN
Collateral Event of the 58th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia
The Fondation Louis Vuitton is pleased to announce the opening of its new exhibition, Elsewhen, displaying a whole new installation by French artist Philippe Parreno at the Espace Louis Vuitton Venezia. As part of the Collateral Events of the 58th International Art
Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, this presentation has been produced in the framework of the Fondation Louis Vuitton “Hors-lesmurs” programme. This programme, inaugurated in 2014, showcases previously unseen holdings of the Collection in the Espaces
Louis Vuitton in Tokyo, Munich, Beijing and Venice, thus realizing the Fondation’s commitment to mount international projects and make them accessible to a broader public.
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.
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 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.