Philippe Parreno beside ‘Annlee’, whose image is produced by a large LED screen in the CAC. :: SUR
After one of his most successful and most recent installations at the Palais de Tokyo in October 2013, contemporary artist Parreno has set up yet another thought-provoking exhibition, this time, in the CAC Málaga.
A collection of seven of his works is currently being displayed on a 4.8 by 3.8 metre screen in the centre’s main room: ‘Anna’, ‘Fleurs’, ‘Alien Seasons’, ‘The Writer’, ‘Anywhere Out of the World’, ‘No More Reality, la manifestation’ and ‘El sueño de una cosa’.
Raised in Grenoble, the Paris-based artist became eminent in the nineties, has held exhibitions in Moscow, London and the Centre Pompidou in Paris and has also worked with the likes of Jasper Johns. He has even travelled to Norway to film the one-minute film ‘El sueño de una cosa’.
Parreno, though having worked with a diversity of media including sculpture, performance, drawing and text, tends to work mostly with film. This is partly due to his refusal to merely ‘produce objects’, feeling rather that an exhibition is not just an arrangement of physical objects but is also an act of creation.
Through using exhibition as a medium, Parreno has completely redetermined the experience of the exhibition by examining it as an ‘object’ itself, rather than as a collection of independent pieces of work.
Though the installation’s specific theme (or rather its lack of it) makes it challenging to relate to, the film-maker succeeds in raising an array of intriguing issues.
One of the ideas he toys with is the boundary between reality and fiction. Arguably his most well-known work, Annlee, is simultaneously a good example of this, as well as an unsettling piece in itself and in its potency.
The Manga character, a virtual tabula rasa whose image Parreno and another fellow French artist found in the catalogue of a Japanese manga figure development agency, had the copyright to her image purchased in 1999 for the ‘No Ghost Just a Shell’ project.
She was eventually shared among other artists, where her character was ‘coloured in’ in a fashion reminiscent of cadavre exquis. Her mere existence questions image ownership and representation. The fact that her image can only be seen from a distance is symbolic: it brings to mind the way in which the media exploits women and their images for commercial purposes, the manufactured aspect of fame and the ephemeral nature of the images we are exposed to on a day-to-day basis.
Annlee and the rest of Parreno’s films will be being screened in the CAC until the 28th of September.