Since Tate Modern opened in London in 2000, the Turbine Hall has hosted some of the world’s most memorable and acclaimed works of contemporary art, reaching an audience of millions. The way artists have interpreted this vast industrial space has revolutionized public perceptions of contemporary art in the 21st century. Philippe Parreno (b. 1964) is a leading French artist who works in film, video, sound, sculpture, performance, and information technology. His work explores the borders between reality and fiction, and he sees his exhibitions as choreographed spaces that follow a score, during which a series of different events unfold. These kaleidoscopic environments redefine the museum-going experience.
The dramatic new work featured here is conceived as an automaton that guides the viewer through a constantly changing play of moving elements, light configurations, sound environments and film screenings, so that no two encounters are the same. The artist combines aspects of chance and control: the sequences of events are triggered by software that is informed by microorganisms living in a bioreactor. This lavishly illustrated book documents the conception and realization of this powerful work. An interview with the project’s curator, Andrea Lissoni, and an essay by Zoe Stillpass offer fresh and intriguing insights into Parreno’s career and working practice. This is augmented by an illustrated selection, chosen by the artist himself, of the groundbreaking exhibitions that have influenced his practice and radically transformed the notion of art over the past eighty years. This unique publication, made in full collaboration with the artist, explores his thinking as well as surveying his wide range of production.