MALAGA.- TV Channel, Philippe Parrenos first solo exhibition in Spain curated by Fernando Francés, is a collection of seven films by Parreno, produced between 1987 and 2007 - Fleurs; No More Reality, la manifestation; Anna; Anywhere Out Of The World; El Sueño de Una Cosa; Alien Season; and The Writer. During the 90 minute loop humans, vegetables, animals and miscellaneous objects appear at intervals, all of them existing on the edges of being, seeming part automaton, part alive. The work is a soliloquy, an exhibition within an exhibition space.
TV Channel is an apparatus. It is presented on a huge LED panel, used mainly in stadiums in the late 1990s. The screen is both solid and translucent with the resolution and sound in transient states, shifting and disintegrating depending on the vantage point of the viewer, the spectators and what they watch are in turn phantasmagorical and real. The title of the work itself also shifts. Channel can be taken to mean both TV station and artery, a channel of navigation or exchange, a place passed through or along. This TV Channel leads towards a resolution, however uncertain its nature
As the viewer moves towards the screen it starts to disintegrate. The diodes buzz with various intensities and mix with the varying electronic interferences and sonic vibrations that the sounds and visuals in the film have now become. As the viewer passes the screen and looks back, the new viewers looking at the work are lit up by the very images they study.
TV Channel cannot be reduced to its material components and has evolved over the years. The first version, created in 1998, was a video projection on a screen beside which lettering in adhesive tape spelt out the words We Sit in Front of Stories Like a Player Without a Joystick. This version at CAC Málaga presents its third incarnation.
Some of the films in the work are performed in their entirety, such as The Writer (2007), El Sueño de Una Cosa (2001) or Anywhere out of the World (2000) but nothing is screened for longer than four minutes. Within the disordered sequence there exist elements of televisual narrative formats: a bed of flowers appears in the middle of nowhere, against a musical background: this is El Sueño de Una Cosa (2001); an automaton writes in The Writer (2007), underwater views of cephalopods make-up Alien Seasons (2002); a close-up on a new-born babys face: Anna (1993); a bouquet: Fleurs (1987), a childrens demonstration: No More Reality, la manifestation (1991), a manga figure speaks to the audience: Anywhere out of the World (2000). The only voice heard in this falsely random programme is that of Annlee, the anime character from Anywhere out of the World stating her non-existence.
The earliest work, Fleurs (1987), is a silent film of a bouquet, the focus on which moves continuously between foreground and background, the fluctuating clarity produced by the forcing of the autofocus function.
No More Reality, la manifestation (1991) is the documentation of an event. Parreno assembled a group of seven and eight year old schoolchildren and explained the concept of demonstrations to them, inviting them to devise their own. To accompany their campaign, they created the slogan to march together to - No more reality!
Anna (1993) captures the first moments in the life of a newborn baby. Unable to see or to communicate, he zooms onto her incomprehensible frowning and crying face, taking up the entirety of the screen, the intense pigmentation of her skin seeming to make it vibrate.
In 1999, Parreno - together with Pierre Huyghe - purchased an anime character they named Annlee to whom they assigned copyleft rights. A character destined to otherwise face an imminent death, Annlee was rescued and offered to other artists to collaborate with and create an identity for.
El Sueño de Una Cosa (the dream of a thing) (2001) is a sixty-second film that was first shown as part of the pre-film advertisement sequences in several cinemas in Sweden. An advert without a product.
Alien Seasons (2002) follows a shoal of cephalopods and captures their camouflage techniques in response to their environment, with the use of their chromatophoric skin.
In The Writer (2007), Parreno focuses on the words What do you believe, my words or your eyes? written by an eighteenth century Pierre Jacquet-Droz mechanized doll. The phrase is left incomplete, as though reality cannot fully be put into wordsas though it remains filled with silences, suspensions, even failures.
Philippe Parreno is a French artist and filmmaker who lives and works in Paris, France. He studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Grenoble from 1983 until 1988 and at the Institut des Hautes Etudes en arts plastiques at the Palais de Tokyo, Paris from 1988 until 1989.
Parreno rose to prominence in the 1990s, earning critical acclaim for his work that employs a diversity of media including film, sculpture, performance, drawing and text. Taking the exhibition as a medium, Parreno has radically redefined the exhibition experience by exploring its possibilities as a coherent object rather than as a collection of individual works. To this end, he conceives his shows as a scripted space where a series of events unfolds. The visitor is guided through the galleries by the orchestration of sound and image, which heightens their sensory experience. This is a question of creating, in a given volume, as much space and time as possible by folding and unfolding the space onto itself.
Parreno regularly exhibits internationally. He has recently had solo exhibitions at Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2013-14), The Garage Center for Contemporary Culture, Moscow (2013); Barbican Art Gallery, London (2013); Fondation Beyeler, Riehen/Basel (2012); Philadelphia Museum of Art (2012); Serpentine Gallery, London (2010-2011); Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris; Centre for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, New York (2009 - 2010); Irish Museum of Modern Art (2009); Kunsthalle Zürich (2009); and Centre Pompidou, Paris (2009).