Over the past two decades, French artist Pierre Huyghe has produced an extraordinary body of work in constant dialogue with temporality. Investigating the possibility of a hypothetical mode of timekeeping—“parallel presents”—Huyghe has researched the architecture of the incomplete, directed a puppet opera, founded a temporary school, established a pirate television station, staged celebrations, scripted scenarios, and journeyed to Antarctica in search of a mythological penguin. In this first book-length art historical examination of Huyghe and his work, Amelia Barikin traces the artist’s continual negotiation with the time codes of contemporary society. Barikin finds in Huyghe’s projects an alternate way of thinking about history—a “topological historicity” that deprograms (or reprograms) temporal formats. Barikin offers pioneering analyses of Huyghe’s lesser-known early works as well as sustained readings of later, critically acclaimed projects, including No Ghost Just a Shell (2000), L’Expédition scintillante (2002), and A Journey That Wasn’t (2005). She emphasizes Huyghe’s concepts of “freed time” and “the open present,” in which anything might happen.
Bringing together an eclectic array of subjects and characters—from moon walking to situationist practices, from Snow White to Gilles Deleuze—Parallel Presents offers a highly original account of the driving forces behind Huyghe’s work.
About the Author
Amelia Barikin, a curator, writer, and art historian, is Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the School of English, Media Studies, and Art History at the University of Queensland.
Table of Contents
- Parallel Presents
- Parallel Presents
- The Art of Pierre Huyghe
- Amelia Barikin
- The MIT Press
- Cambridge, Massachusetts
- London, England
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form by any electronic or mechanical means (including photocopying, recording, or information storage and retrieval) without permission in writing from the publisher.
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- This book was set in Archer and Interstate by the MIT Press. Printed and bound in Spain.
- Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
- Barikin, Amelia, 1979–
- Parallel presents : the art of Pierre Huyghe / Amelia Barikin.
- pages cm.
- Includes bibliographical references and index.
- ISBN 978-0-262-01780-0 (hardcover : alk. paper) 1. Huyghe, Pierre, 1962–—Criticism and interpretation. I. Title. II. Title: Art of Pierre Huyghe.
- N6853.H88B37 2012
- 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
- For Vickie Douglas
- August 4, 1951–March 7, 2011
- Acknowledgments ix
- Introduction: In What Time Do We Live? 1
- 1 Early Work 9
- 2 The Open Present 39
- 3 A Movie Navigated by Stops 71
- 4 Figures of Speech 99
- 5 Inside-Out Utopia 141
- 6 Topological Systems: An Economy of Time 183
- Notes 225
- Works Cited 252
- Index 263
—George Baker, University of California, Los Angeles; author of The Artwork Caught by the Tail
—Simon Morley, editor of The Sublime
Winner, 2013 Best Book Prize given by the Art Association of Australia and New Zealand