Philippe Parreno

Alien Seasons

April 25 - May 27, 2003

537 W 22nd Street

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Opening Reception: Friday, April 25, 6-8PM

For his second solo exhibition at Friedrich Petzel Gallery, Philippe Parreno is taking the exhibition Alien Seasons that first opened at the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris last May and bringing it to New York. Just as music or theater is repeated and reinterpreted, Philippe is making this exhibition again in order to play with it and give it new shape.

Inside the seemingly haunted gallery, lights fade in and out, images appear and disappear on the walls and silence pervades except for a brief classical score that intervenes from time to time. What might seem to be flashing headlights are actually labels, identifying title, date, and medium of each work in the exhibition. They were designed by M/M Paris, a team of graphic designers with whom Parreno has collaborated on numerous projects.

Robert Rauschenberg's 7 panel White Series Painting is exhibited alone in the main space. It is visible for 4 minute and 33 seconds, the time given by John Cage for reading the painting. El Sueño de una Cosa (The Dream of a Thing), a film that Parreno shot on a small island above the Arctic Circle, is projected directly on top of the painting to the music of Edgar Varèse. Previously shown in between commercials in a Swedish cinema, this film is a game that produces new stories each time it is shown. It functions as an interlude between two things, just as a dream finds itself between sleep and waking.

A series of giant glow-in-the-dark posters can be found in the back room. They gradually lose their luminosity and fade to black, at which point the lights turn on in order to recharge the phosphorescent ink. These vanishing images describe events organized by Parreno that have taken place in the past. In one instance, at a Japanese theme park, humans dressed-up as cartoon characters pantomimed a universe without time. In another, a truck drove through Kitakyuchu broadcasting post-apocalyptic soliloquies.

The subject of his latest film is the Giant Cuttlefish. This particularly odd-looking fish emerges every time an element of the exhibition is set/launched into motion.
A native to the South Pacific, it has a special image-generating lobe in its brain that can actually project what it is imagining on the surface of its body. These remarkably intelligent animals have evolved to use a language of animation in order to communicate with one another. One might say that they are the closest things we humans can compare to aliens.

For further information, please contact the gallery at info@petzel.com, or call (212) 680-9467.

The press release for Alien Seasons at the Musée d'Art Moderne de le Ville de Paris was written by Jaron Lanier who shared the above information regarding the Giant Cuttlefish.


Download Press Release (PDF 69 K)


  • 1 / 9
    Orange Bay (After Gabriel Tarde's Fragment of Future History)
    2002
    Plexiglas
    Dimensions variable, Ed. of 4
  • 2 / 9
    Orange Bay (After Gabriel Tarde's Fragment of Future History)
    2002
    Plexiglas
    Dimensions variable, Ed. of 4
  • 3 / 9
    El Sueño de una Cosa
    2001
    35 mm film (transferred to HD)
    1 minute, Dolby stereo, Ed. of 3
  • 4 / 9
    Alien Seasons
    2002
    35mm film transferred to HD Video, Ed. of 4
    Running time: 10 sequences of 45 seconds each
  • 5 / 9
    The Ice Man, Tokyo 1995
    2003
    Silkscreen ink on paper, Ed. of 6
    72.83 x 47.24 inches
  • 6 / 9
    Sound Pan, Paris 2002
    2003
    Phosphorescent ink silkscreen print on paper, Ed. of 6
    72.83 x 47.24 inches
  • 7 / 9
    Argentina vs. Netherlands 1978, Medina 2003
    2003
    Silkscreen ink on paper, Ed. of 6
    72.83 x 47.24 inches
  • 8 / 9
    Space World, Kitakyushu 2003
    2003
    Silkscreen ink on paper, Ed. of 6
    72.83 x 47.24 inches
  • 9 / 9
    The Day After, Kitakyushu 2003
    2003
    Silkscreen ink on paper, Ed. of 6
    72.83 x 47.24 inches