Opening: 3pm, March 24th, 2018
Duration: March 24th-May 31th, 2018
Add: Pond Society, No.2555-4, Longteng Avenue, Shanghai
The New Century Art Foundation (NCAF) is very proud to present French conceptual artist Pierre Huyghe’s first solo exhibition in China at Pond Society. The artist has profoundly expanded the parameters of contemporary art with a practice that incorporates a variety of materials and disciplines, including film, environment, situation, sculpture and music. Huyghe's multidisciplinary approach has garnered acclaim for its ability to challenge the exhibition format, conventional forms of representation and accepted narrative models.
The exhibition will feature two works by Pierre Huyghe that exemplify the artist's complex methodology: Cambrian Explosion 15 and A Way in Untilled. Cambrian Explosion 15 (2017-18) belongs to a series of live marine ecosystems in glass tanks, a body of work that Huyghe began in 2010. The title of this piece refers to the appearance in the fossil record of most major animal body plans over 500 million years ago in an evolutionarily 'brief' interval of 20 million years or less. The work presents a scene in which arrow crabs and horseshoe crabs roam among sea anemones and microorganisms. A large stone, improbably suspended, breaks the surface of the water; it is as if time itself were suspended in the space of the aquarium. As the crabs craft unscripted and unpredictable narratives the work itself changes and evolves, continuing to play out in the viewer's absence without ever repeating itself.
Huyghe's film work A Way in Untilled (2012) transports the viewer to Huyghe’s Untilled (2012), which premiered at the 2012 edition of Documenta in Kassel, Germany. In A Way in Untilled Huyghe translates his Documenta presentation into an otherworldly film. Shot at twilight, it alternates between ambient sounds—the buzzing of bees, the rustling of grass—and silence. It presents several levels of the ecosystem through close-ups of worms and aquatic life, shots of 'Human', an Ibizan hound with a magenta-colored leg, gnawing at an animal carcass and scenes of ants dragging their eggs to safety. The film terminates with a close-up of aquatic organisms that resembles the night sky, a tiny microcosm that appears to reflect back the vastness of the cosmos. As with Cambrian Explosion 15, the inclusion of plants and animals in this work blurs the lines between subject and object, producing a condition that the artist has described as 'undetermined'.
About the Artist
Born in Paris in 1962, Huyghe studied at Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs in Paris from 1982 – 1985. Huyghe has been celebrated internationally with solo exhibitions at venues including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Tate Modern, London; the Guggenheim Museum, New York; and the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris. He has also featured in major international group shows including the Biennale of Sydney, the Whitney Biennial and the Venice Biennial, where in 2001 he represented France. Most recently, Huyghe participated in the decennial exhibition of public art Skulptur Projekte Münster with the highly regarded speculative ecosystem After ALife Ahead.
In 2017, Huyghe was awarded the Nasher Prize for Sculpture. He was also the recipient of the Kurt Schwitters Prize at The Sprengel Museum in Hannover, Germany (2015), Roswitha Haftmann Prize in Zurich (2013), the Smithsonian American Art Museum's Contemporary Artist Award (2010), the Hugo Boss Prize (2002), the Special Jury Prize awarded by 49th Venice Biennale (2001) and received the DAAD Artist in Residence grant in Berlin (1999 – 2000).