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Philippe Parreno at the Irish Museum of Modern Art

An ambitious overview of the work of innovative Algerian/French artist Philippe Parreno opens to the public at the Irish Museum of Modern Art on Wednesday 4 November 2009. Philippe Parreno: November is a major solo exhibition comprising some 15 mixed-media works ranging from such seminal films as The Boy from Mars to installations such as Speech Bubbles. This exhibition is not merely a survey of previous works but is seen by Parreno as an opportunity to revisit and even refabricate older works in order to transform the gallery spaces at IMMA. The title, November, is a starting point for injecting life and energy into the exhibition as the newly adapted works are exhibited from the month of November. As part of the Irish Film Institute programme a new film by Philippe Parreno, 8 June 1968, 2009, will be screened for the first time in Ireland, along with his ground-breaking earlier film, Zidane, a 21st Century Portrait, 2006, made in collaboration with Scottish artist Douglas Gordon.

Philippe Parreno: November questions notions of time, reality and representation, as well as exhibition-making and performance. Parreno’s work develops from different sources ranging across art theory, philosophy, science fiction, popular culture and film, and adopting many different forms such as installation, performance, photography, drawing, sculpture and film. His practice is rooted in Conceptual Art and is highly experimental, dealing with issues surrounding the presentation of art, and also its interpretation and meaning. Parreno also questions the concept of authorship and has worked in collaboration with many artists. He belongs to a generation of highly influential artists from the 1990s, including Pierre Huyghe, Liam Gillick, Jorge Pardo, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Douglas Gordon and Carsten Holler. In 2006 he co-curated the experimental exhibition .all hawaii eNtrées / luNar reGGae at IMMA with Rachael Thomas, Senior Curator: Head of Exhibitions, IMMA.

For his exhibition at IMMA Parreno has adapted existing works such as Orange Bay (After Gabriel Tarde’s Fragment of Future History), 2002, in which orange plexiglas is placed in the windows of the galleries creating an orange glow that bathes the space in a surreal light, transforming the way we see the exhibition spaces. While in Speech Bubbles, 2009, an installation of helium balloons, Parreno has changed the colour of the original work Speech Bubbles, 1997, from white to gold. The cartoon shaped speech bubbles, which where originally created to carry trade union slogans during a demonstration, appear in this installation as a cloud of bubbles, empty of words, collecting on the ceiling suggesting a potential or suspended discourse which may or may not occur.

The Irish Film Institute screening of two film-works by Parreno, 8 June 1968, 2009, and Zidane, a 21st Century Portrait, 2006, allows the viewer to see these films on large cinematic screens. Zidane, made in collaboration with Douglas Gordon, creates a real-time portrait of the soccer star Zinédine Zidane. Filmed during the course of a match between Real Madrid and Villareal on 25 April 2005 and using 17 cameras all trained on the title character, the film documents literally every movement Zidane makes for 90 minutes, resulting in an unique and immersive portrait of an athlete in action.

Born in Oran, Algeria, in 1964, Philippe Parreno lives and works in Paris. Recent solo exhibitions include Il Tempo Del Postino: A Group Show (with Hans Ulrich Obrist), Opera House, Manchester (2007), Le Cri ultrasonic de l’écureuil (with Ronn Lucas), Studio 28, Paris, France (2006); The Boy From Mars, Centre for Contemporary Art Kitakyushu (CCA), Kitakyushu, Japan (2006); Fade Away, Kunstverein Munchen, Munich (2004) and No Ghost Just a Shell (with Pierre Huyghe), Rosa de la Cruz Collection, Miami (2003). Recent collaborative exhibitions include Zidane, a 21st Century Portrait (with Douglas Gordon), Magasin 3, Stockholm (2008); Briannnnnn & Ferryyyyyy/Law Creativity (with Liam Gillick), Kunsthalle Zürich; Konsthall Malmo and Vamiali’s Athens (2006) and Rirkrit Tiravanija: No Vitrines, No Museums, No Artists, just a lot of People (with Rirkrit Tiravanija, Pierre Huyghe and Maurizio Nannucci), Telecom Italia Future Centre, Venice (2004).

In Conversation: Philippe Parreno and Rachael Thomas
Monday 2 November at 6.10 pm, Irish Film Institute
The IFI screening of two of Philippe Parreno’s film-works will be followed by an interview with Parreno, in conversation with Rachael Thomas, about these works and the influence of cinema on his work as an artist. This event takes place at the Irish Film Institute, 6 Eustace Street, Temple Bar, D 2. For further programme details and booking see the IFI website

The exhibition is an international collaboration between Kunsthalle, Zürich; Centre Pompidou, Paris, and Bard College, New York, where it will be shown in Spring 2010. For each venue Parreno has created different exhibitions in close dialogue with the curator.

Two publications accompany the exhibition, a comprehensive survey catalogue of Philippe Parreno’s work, including critical notes by Christine Macel, Chief Curator, Centre Pompidou, Paris, and the first chronological list of the artist’s works to date. It also includes an interview with the artist by independent curator Hans Ulrich Obrist, an essay by Maria Lind, Director, Centre for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, New York, and a work of fiction inspired by Parreno written by IMMA Director Enrique Juncosa. Price €49.00. Its companion book, Parade?, a children’s book, which features sixteen monsters inspired by Parreno’s work, created and illustrated by Johan Olander, with a storey written by the artist. Price €18.00. These books are produced by Centre Pompidou Editions and JRP Ringier.

The exhibition is supported by L’Ambassade de France en Ireland and Culture France.

Philippe Parreno: November continues at IMMA until 24 January 2010.

Admission is free.

Opening hours:
Tuesday – Saturday: 10.00am – 5.30pm
except Wednesday: 10.30am – 5.30pm
Sundays and Bank Holidays: 12noon – 5.30pm
Mondays, 24 – 26 Dec & 28 Dec: Closed

For further information and images please contact Monica Cullinane or Patrice Molloy at Tel: +353 1 612 9900; Email: [email protected]

 28 October 2009