Philippe Parreno: May / Kunsthalle Zürich, Switzerland

The current exhibition at Kunsthalle Zürich in Switzerland is dedicated to the work of Philippe Parreno, a French artist born in Algeria. Philippe Parreno: May at Kunsthalle Zürich is the first episode from a planned series of “retrospective” exhibitions that will be shown at Kunsthalle Zürich, the Centre Pompidou, the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin, and the CCS, Bard College, New York.

For each of these episodes Philippe Parreno will create a specific “image” based on a particular aspect of his oeuvre. The exhibition at Kunsthalle Zürich features works created between the 1990s and the present day. It comprises nine Marquee works created since 2007 that transform the spaces of the Kunsthalle Zürich into a glowing field of possible cinemas entrances. They are complemented by the neon sign Boy from Mars, which could be announcing the 2003 film of the same name also on view at the exhibition.

Also on display: “A series of drawings runs through the entire exhibition as a parallel narrative: monsters, which the children’s book illustrator Johan Olander, who lives in New York, developed for the work of Philippe Parreno – interpretations of an oeuvre – mutate to funny, threatening, shocking and amusing ogres. They are redrawn by Parreno himself who performs a double somersault of interpretation here. Thus the monsters are in communication with works which allow language, stories branching out in all directions and fictions to be present as spirits: hundreds of balloons in the form of speech bubbles, glass speakers, puppets, photographs of the artist, who is speaking to animals, a film which has “produced a building” and numerous stories which the monsters from the drawings want to begin…” (excerpt from the press release).

Philippe Parreno: May / Kunsthalle Zürich, Switzerland. The exhibition runs until August 16, 2009. Opening Reception, May 8, 2009.

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