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20/20 Philippe Parreno: The Artist is (Not) Present

November 10, 2013


In stark contrast with his fellow contemporaries like Damien Hirst, Marina Abramovic or oldies such as Warhol & co, where their claim to fame becomes a centrepiece, Parreno is all about the absence of the artist. Although clearly not a loud personna (few knew him before his participation in Art Basel), his latest Palais de Tokyo expo is a perfectly orchestrated journey that speaks louder than words. In fact, the always industrial Palais has been readjusted to fit Parreno’s cold & bold art installations.

Using technologies in a mostly deja vu way,  from gigantic led screens, strobing lights and video installations he manages to tell a story. A story about how even the colder of machinery hides a real human behind. If there is any of his work that says something  is the video Marilyn. Great retro ambiance with orange and blue filters echoing the voice of M Monroe somewhere among the walls of a Waldorf suite. Only to find that the hand written love letters are done by a machinery.

In other words, don’t be fooled, humanity is as dead as that blond bombshell that once sang happy birthday to Mr President.

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