The Centre Pompidou presents the first retrospective exhibition of the work of Pierre Huyghe, a major figure in the contemporary art scene both in France and internationally. The exhibition of approximately fifty projects adopts a completely new approach to the artist’s work, and provides a comprehensive panorama of his practice and research which spread over the past twenty years. The show aims to emphasize the live and organic dimension of the artist’s propositions, where the exhibition space is conceived as a world in itself, not orchestrated, but living at its own pace.
Pierre Huyghe was, from the Nineties onwards, a key figure in redefining the status of the art work and the exhibition format, sometimes joining them in the form of a diary, a journey to the Antarctic or an annual calendar in the shape of a garden..
While presenting some of his most iconic works, such as Blanche Neige Lucie, No Ghost Just a Shell and Streamside Day, the exhibition explores the recurrences and junctions that appear in certain works, and shows how the artist seeks to invent «live situations» through which he strives to intensify the presence and vitality of reality.
«I am interested in constructing situations that take place within reality […] I focus on something that is not played, but which exists in itself. I seek not to identify the relationship between subjects, but to invent initial conditions that lead to permeability. What interests me is intensifying a presence, giving it its own presentation, its own appearance and its own life, rather than subjecting it to pre-established models.» Pierre Huyghe
Thus, for The Host and the Cloud, Pierre Huyghe summoned a number of witnesses to the deserted Museum of Traditional Arts and Crafts to discover a number of events which took place during Halloween, Valentines’ Day and Labour Day. He staged different situations such as a trial, hypnosis sessions, choreographies and sexual acts. For Documenta 13 in Kassel, visitors accidentally discovered his site, a built ecosystem where one could find a dog with a pink leg, an uprooted oak of Joseph Beuys and a sculpture of a reclining naked woman whose head was obscured by a beehive. The exhibition space in the South Gallery opens to the outer world as an outgrowth, where certain organic and climatic works by the artist will exist.
With the artist’s participation, this presentation represents a stage in this singular body of work – a first step towards a future permanent site of Pierre Huyghe’s concerns and obsessions, based on the idea of constructing a self-generating world which varies in time and space, indifferent to our presence.
The exhibition will travel to the Ludwig Museum of Cologne from April 11th to July 13th 2014 and to LACMA in Los Angeles from November 23rd 2014 to March 8th 2015.