Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Pierre Huyghe @ LACMA: Walking Through A Charming Nightmare

The Pierre Huyghe Exhibit, currently at LACMA, ending this month, is something more or less like a participant coming out of a dream like state, as though waking up from a charming nightmare. The exhibit features over two decades of the artist's work including a live beehive that's part of a statue and being able to play Pong on the ceiling. A multimedia artist, Pierre shows his work through sculpture, film, art, and even some electronics.

With the help of two other visitors I was trying to figure out what the knob connected to a long wire to the ceiling controlled. That's when the dog with paint on it passed by and I saw a glimmer of a man missing a face. Or should I say women? I have no idea, they're face was replaced with light coming from sort of light mask. Then the room suddenly turned dark. I looked behind me after hearing a loud unsettling sound. Part of a house was is in road on video projected on the wall behind me. A creature, possibly a chimp, was wearing a female mask over their face with long black hair. The creature was playing with their hair. That was the start of my visit to the exhibit.

More strange happenings would occur. On part of my walk through in the exhibit I passed a tank with a head in it, only later would I realize that head had life in it.

I nearly laughed when I saw, "No Ghost Just A Shell." I had never known the artist of the piece and only found it online. I had believed it was fan art for the anime, some-day to be a live action film, Ghost in the Shell. Now I know it's part of a larger project to make a fictional girl, Annlee, bought for $500, into more of a commodity. It's a take on how cartoon characters are actually bought and used by corporation and agencies.

Of course, ever the gamer I had to figure out what the ceiling was capable of playing. After light was restored I began to twiddle the knob against an opponent. I wasn't playing Tetris, I was playing Pong. Pong was right above me on the ceiling causing me to tilt my head all the way back to keep my bumper from letting the pong square get a point. The piece, "Atari Light", was a playful delight, if not something that cause you to break your neck or leave it wide open to be cut, but since I saw no sort of joke about doing that near the piece (fake knives) I assume it was just meant for fun.

Outside there was a snow machine, rather multiple machines, two more creating rain and fog desperately. Near the fog was the active beehive on what looked like an ancient statue of someone reclining on their back. The beehive took over the head of the statue. Bees were buzzing and moving all about it. It was not unlike seeing something from a horror video game like Silent Hill.

What I shared was just a small amount of the entire exhibit. Pierre has made a collection of his dreams in an almost theme park like style for you to stroll through. If you do go, try seeing the "Zoodram 5" at different angles. Just because something doesn't have a body doesn't mean it's not alive. Play some Pong too.

November 23, 2014–February 22, 2015
LACMA Los Angeles County Museum of Art
5905 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, California 90036

"Atari Light"