Referred to as “a major figure in the French and international art scene”, Pierre Huyghe, a poet of space and sculptor of time was exposed at the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris from September 25th 2013 to January 6th 2014. The exhibition was of retrospective nature, presenting 50 projects spanning over 20 years of Huyghe’s career.
Huyghe has experienced great success for his works with the Venice Biennale, Gwangju Biennale, Whitney Biennale, and has also been a recipient of the Hugo Boss prize. His Pompidou show drew an emphasis on the interaction between the different elements of his work. Taking up space both inside and outside the museum’s main building, the show centered around a pun on the concept of “opening up to the exterior,” referencing Huyghe’s goal: “a zone of uncertainty where the totality is unclear”. Marked by a punctuated interest for the transition between elements, the artist created a form of intensity for the viewer.
“I don’t want to exhibit something to someone any more. I want to do the reverse: I want to exhibit someone to something,” Huyghe recently stated. Thus, startled by a self-generated world, a jungle of space, objects, narratives, and images that evolved and changed individually from one another, the viewer could witness the introduction of a “living dimension” to the overall show. In one piece, the Untitled Weather Score presented three different stages of the cycle of water: snow, rain, and vapor. The viewer experienced the changing states of water, and could visualize its evolution according to its natural flow and rhythm, intensifying the understanding of material and motion as Huyghe understands it.
Nearby, an ice skater stood on a black ice stage of L’Expédition scintillante, Untitled, Acte 3 moving fluidly, as her airy movements responded to the nearby installation Untilled (Liegender Frauenakt). This central piece revealed a reclining female nude with a beehive for a head, situated on the other side of the glass window from the ice skater. Huyghe was seeking to escape containment and even comprehension, in favor of the growth and evolution of distinct elements. His forms of relation here moved outside the exhibition space, placing a new emphasis on how the exhibition directly addresses itself.
With the curator Emma Lavigne, and the assistance of Florencia Chernajovsky, Huyghe’s next exhibitions will take place at the Ludwig Museum in Cologne (11 April 2014 – 13 July 2014) then the LACMA in Los Angeles, exhibiting in Hollywood houses as venues (23 November 2014 – 8 March 2015).
—K.de Saint Hilaire
Pierre Huyghe at Centre Pompidou [Centre Pompidou]