Pierre Huyghe

Pierre Huyghe

TarraWarra Museum of Art

Pierre Huyghe, A Journey That Wasn’t, 2005. Super 16mm and HD video transferred to HD Digital Disc, color, stereo sound, 21:41 min. Edition of 7 + 2 AP. Courtesy of the artist and Marian Goodman Gallery, New York.

August 30, 2015

Pierre Huyghe
TarraWarra International 2015

29 August–22 November 2015

TarraWarra Museum of Art
311 Healesville-Yarra Glen Road,
Healesville, Victoria


TarraWarra Museum of Art presents Pierre Huyghe: TarraWarra International 2015, the artist’s first solo exhibition in Australia. This is the second iteration of the TarraWarra International, a regular series in the museum’s program designed to showcase leading contemporary practice in a global context. 

Co-curated by Amelia Barikin (author of Parallel Presents: The Art of Pierre Huyghe) and Victoria Lynn (Director, TarraWarra Museum of Art), this exhibition brings together ten of Huyghe’s projects to focus on the artist’s ongoing investigations into time and temporality. Pierre Huyghe is an internationally renowned contemporary artist who lives and works in Santiago, Chile. Since the 1990s, his diverse body of work has included events, films, architecture, installations, objects, photography, sculpture, animate and inanimate entities, and living ecosystems. In discussing his projects, Huyghe refers to scripts and scenarios, organisms and ecologies. He has spoken of the need for “no-knowledge zones” in which things have no names. Much of this experimentation is bound up with the protocols of world making. As Huyghe admits, “As I start a project, I always need to create a world. Then I want to enter this world and my walk through this world is the work.”

The timescale for the exhibition spans 30 million years. It opens with a line of ants and a trip through an ancient piece of fossilised amber, takes a journey to Antarctica in search of a rare penguin, and begins again in a compost heap in a park in Kassel, Germany. Collapsing distinctions between past, present and future, the exhibition speculates towards a non-linear mode of history, in which human and non-human agencies not only play an equal part, but also interconnect. 

The curatorial starting point is Huyghe’s founding of the Association of Freed Time in 1995, a collaborative proposal for liberating temporal horizons. The idea of “liberated” or freed time is glimpsed throughout the exhibition, as a proposal for a porous and dynamic mode of temporality resistant to closure and conclusions. At TarraWarra, Huyghe’s projects are envisioned as an entanglement of contrasting rhythms, highlighting art’s potential to generate science-fictional time zones and develop alternate chronologies. His works transport us “elsewhere” while intensifying the conditions of the present moment. 

Highlights include L’Expédition Scintillante Act 2: Untitled (Light Box) (2002), a hallucinatory display of light, smoke and sound; Umwelt (2011), in which living spiders and ants inhabit the gallery; and several of Huyghe’s critically acclaimed films, including A Way in Untilled (2012)—shot on site during Huyghe’s dOCUMENTA (13) project in Kassel—and A Journey That Wasn’t (2005), which traces Huyghe’s journey to Antarctica in search of a rare albino penguin.

Pierre Huyghe was born in Paris in 1962, and was educated at the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Graphiques et Décoratifs in Paris. He has held numerous major solo exhibitions at leading venues around the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2015); LACMA, Los Angeles (2015); Museum Ludwig, Cologne (2014); Centre Pompidou, Paris (2013); Museo Tamayo Arte Contemporáneo, México D.F. (2012); Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Palacio de Cristal (2010); ARC, Musée d’art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris and Tate Modern, London (2006); and Castello di Rivoli, Turin (2004). He was a recipient of the Smithsonian American Museum’s Contemporary Artist Award (2010), and the Roswitha Haftmann Preis Award (2013). Huyghe is represented by Marian Goodman Gallery, New York; Esther Schipper, Berlin; Galerie Chantal Crousel, Paris; and Hauser & Wirth, London. 

Satellite event and public program
On September 2, 2015 at 6:15pm, the Australian premiere of Huyghe’s remarkable new film Untitled (Human Mask) (2014) will be presented as a special screening at ACMI Cinemas as a satellite component of the exhibition. On October 24, 2015, TarraWarra Museum of Art in partnership with Liquid Architecture and the Melbourne Festival present “Time Out of Time,” an afternoon of talks and performances at the Museum, from noon to 6:30pm. Details and bookings at twma.com.au.

Pierre Huyghe at TarraWarra Museum of Art
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TarraWarra Museum of Art
August 30, 2015

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