Paris, 22 October 2013, Art Media Agency (AMA).
The opening of Philippe Parreno’s Palais de Tokyo show was highly anticipated, and comments leading up to the event had been unanimously positive. On Monday evening, the vernissage for exhibition “Anywhere, Anywhere Out of the World” showed the magnificent potential of a combination of originality and talent.
In the Palais de Tokyo, which was rendered almost unrecognisable for the occasion, Philippe Parreno welcomed his audience with a giant “Wall of LEDs”, showing films which were as captivating as they were intriguing – a sense reinforced by the accompanying soundtrack, which became quieter as the images were approached. Videos shown included No More Reality, la manifestation (1991), notable for its unsettling depiction of children within troubling contexts.
Moving further into the exhibition, the sound of Igor Stravinsky’s Scènes Burlesques en Quatre Tableaux (1911), recorded in Petrouchka’s arrangement for four hands, echoes across the space. La Bibliothèque Clandestine, 2013, by Dominique Gonzalez-Foerester, offers an escape from the cacophony, interjecting the gripping, yet at times bewildering, atmosphere. In a bright room, Pareno has recreated an exhibition by John Cage and Merce Cunningham, within which, according to a principle of chance operations, one of Cage’s drawings has been replaced by a drawing by Merce Cunningham, entitled A Reenactment: Margarete Roeder Gallery (2002-2010).
As the exhibition continues, so do Parreno’s surprises, with the artist presenting a robot programmed to reproduce graphic symbols and writing, in a space which veers between disconcerting darkness and intense light- temporarily allowing visitors to regain their bearings.
Another room features light installations — which are occasionally violent to the senses — accompanied by a soundtrack which resonates in unison with every illuminating flash. Zidane: a 21st Century Portrait (2006) a real-time portrait of the footballer, is broadcast on 17 screens, each corresponding to an individual camera.
We left stunned yet enthralled, with a strong desire to tell others to encourage others to share the experience.