Title: UUmwelt (fragment)
Artist: Pierre Huyghe
About the Artist
Pierre Huyghe (b. 1962) was born in Paris, France. He studied at École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs in Paris from 1982 to 1985. Since graduating he has been exhibited at numerous international establishments, including a recent retrospective that toured galleries of the world, starting at the Pompidou Centre (Paris). He has also won several awards including the Roswitha Haftmann Prize in 2013 and the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Contemporary Artist Award in 2010.
Pierre Huyghe is a multi-disciplinary artist whose art is centred upon the importance of the image as a semiotic device. All images are interrelated, and it is this dynamic which facilitates an exploration of audience expectations by creating works which must be viewed as part of a whole. Much of his practice focuses upon our innate ability to create, as symbolised by the construction sites present in some of his works. Huyghe presents his audience with a portrait of society as being a palimpsestic entity, upon which each generation leaves its mark.
- _ UUMWELT, Serpentine Gallery, London, UK, 2018
- PIERRE HUYGHE, POND SOCIETY, The New Century Art Foundation
- (NCAF), Shanghai, China, 2018
- EXOMIND, Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine, Japan, 2017
- PIERRE HUYGHE, Espace Louis Vuitton, Venice, Italy, 2017
- LA SAISON DES FÊTES, Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo, Netherlands, 2016
- NATURE BASED, Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo, Netherlands , 2016
Text taken from http://www.artuner.com
What does this work say (to me)?
For those of you that know me a bit probably you know that my thesis degree for getting my diploma in architecture was a Museum for not Conventional Art. At that moment I was fascinated by the possibilities of new ways of making and creating art besides the traditional Beaux Arts disciplines: Painting, Sculpture and Drawing.
From that moment I have had a very conflictive relation with Contemporary Art as even though there are wonderful creations I would say a very high percentage of what is made is just noise, suffering most of them of the “dressed (or naked if you prefer) emperor syndrome”.
For one to say a contemporary art work is good art with academic conviction one has to have a deep knowledge of the genre, the artist and his/her work production; because with contemporary art the idea prevails most of the time it means repeated ideas are just second class proposals and repeated outcomes with different ideas is just lack of imagination; a tricky dilemma certainly.
So one wonders how a contemporary artwork should look? What should be the medium? What should be the theme? What element should be present in/on it that put it in the XXI Century worthy art scene? What element should it retain (if any) of the traditional ways of expression in art? Etc.
When I saw the installation by Pierre Huyghe: UUmwelt I was seduced by the complexity of the proposal; I perceived its images to be a bridge between the now and the past, between technology and the formal aspect of painting, the expressiveness of it.
Let’s start saying that this installation is never finished, it is alive.
The image you see on the video is the outcome of the interpretation a computer made of thoughts of people who were given images to think about by the artist. This record of the human mind processes is being altered in the gallery by flys flying in the space which movements are being captured by sensors which feed the computer causing it to change the images you see slightly, never the same but completely recognizable images is the outcome.
It is complex, right?
The image on the screen reminds me the expression of paintings by Francis Bacon with their violence, pain and distortion. The succession of images and their continuous re-shaping make me think of the complex and brutal moments happening in the mind in order to make sense of something the eye sees; the interference of the flys in this scenario is an analogy for me that whatever we perceive about something there is a very high possibility that our understanding of it has been “stained” by something else we do not see or recognize but that is there.
This idea of representing, showing, the power of our mind, its capabilities and at the same time its vulnerability has been expressed in other disciplines but the way this proposal by Huyghe portrays it is just possible with the tools sophisticated computers offer giving to the outcome a sense of “happening” and “immediacy” that is a disturbing one, somehow.
In what Room to place it?
This is a video, on a screen that big, I would place in a wide corridor as a focal point.
As probably I would have a dog I would like to ask to the artist to incorporate his/her movements when passing by the art work so to emulate the interference of the movement of the flys.
In the living room certainly it could have a place too.
It is a very strong piece so I would like to think its surroundings to be a bit dark so to offer a bigger impact.