Philippe Parreno at The Serpentine Gallery

If your in London make sure to check out Philippe Parreno’s latest work at the Serpentine Gallery.

His latest film, Invisibleboy, depicts the imaginary reality of a young illegal alien in New York’s Chinatown, with the creatures that inhabit the boy’s mind scratched onto the film stock.
While discussing the film in an interview with the Guardian, Parreno stated: “I’m best known for my film about Zidane, which showed a super-visible body. After making that it seemed a good idea to make films about someone who doesn’t exist, at least not on paper.”

Invisibleboy is a part of a highly choreographed exhibition at the Serpentine, which, despite the seemingly unrelated content, is conjoined by Parreno’s use of the exhibition space as an experiential medium. His consideration of time and sequence with regard to the viewer’s experience are all central themes to his body of work. The notion of the viewers perception also plays a pivotal role within the narrative of his work

Unlike screenings at most galleries, viewers at the Serpentine Gallery can only watch Parreno’s four films individually—they are not running simultaneously nor are they on direct loops. Rather, Parreno has conceived of the exhibition as a singular art entity, each of the films not isolated works with separate meaning but as “events” the viewer passes through in a timed route through the Serpentine. As the film ends in one room, the automatic blinds rise and the lights go on, just as the opposite occurs blinds go down and the lights dim in the next gallery.

Throughout the gallery they have placed 160 loud speakers, “designed to seduce, delay (and) speed up” viewers. Parreno compares the exhibition itself as to that of a film or musical composition. Parreno is often described as a “relational” artist, as much for his consideration of viewer as his interactive art. Through his exhibit, Parreno literally is able to corrals gallery-goers like cattle through this exhibition. He decides exactly how long viewers spend in the Serpentine.

Parreno strips his viewers of choice and dictates the way the view his work. Taking control of both the viewers bodies and gaze. A theme mimicked in the content of the four films.

The exhibit runs through to February 13th.

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