HYPOTHESIS Phillipe Parreno at HangarBicocca, Milan

Philippe Parreno, The Crowd, 2015
Video still, video, 24’, col., sound
Courtesy of the artist, Pilar Corrias, Barbara Gladstone, and Esther Schipper


HangarBicocca, the contemporary art space wholly supported by Pirelli, will present, from 22 October 2015 to 14 February 2016, Hypothesis the first survey exhibition in Italy of French artist Philippe Parreno. The show, curated by Andrea Lissoni, will be inhabited by a series of key pieces together with recent works and music according to a mise-en-scène devised by Parreno.

Over the last twenty years Parreno has redefined the experience of the exhibition exploring the possibilities beyond the presentation of single artworks. He conceives his exhibitions as choreographed spaces that follow a script where a series of events unfold. His practice – that spans a diversity of media including film, video, sound, writing and drawing – has always explored the borders between reality and its representation utilizing the vocabulary and means typically associated with a variety of media such as radio, television, cinema and, recently, information technology. Parreno also questions the concept of authorship and has worked in collaboration with many highly influential artists, architects or musicians.

Upon entering the “Navate” exhibition space at HangarBicocca, visitors are immediately confronted with the iconic Jasper Johns piece set elements for “Walk Around Time“, which was created as part of the set for Merce Cunningham’s dance of the same name in 1968. Suspended from the ceiling, the work consists of seven inflatable plastic structures painted with images taken from Marcel Duchamp’s The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even (The Large Glass), 1915-1923, and evokes the intensive collaborations taking place in those years among Merce Cunningham, Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, and John Cage – between dance, performance, art and music – setting the lineage for Parreno’s practice.

A central element of the show is Another Day with Another Sun, 2014 (in collaboration with Liam Gillick and produced by the LUMA Foundation) a spotlight resembling a luminous planet, slowly orbiting on a rail throughout the exhibition space, crossing the monumental columns of HangarBicocca’s space, and the flickering street of Marquees, made between 2006 and 2015, projecting long shadows that seem to outgrow the surrounding space. The Marquees and pianos are sequenced to musical compositions by Agoria, Thomas Bartlett, Nicolas Becker, Ranjana Leyendecker, Robert AA Lowe and Mirwais. The Marquees will be elements of the soundtracks designed by Nicolas Becker for the films screened in the exhibition: The Boy From Mars, 2003; Invisible boy, 2010-2015; Marilyn, 2012; and the most recent film The Crowd, 2015, and on a LED screen: Anywhere Out of the World, 2000 and Alien Seasons, 2002.

The “Cubo” space houses the projection of Mont Analogue, 2001, an intermittent sequence of light that translates the novel of the same name by René Daumal into Morse code.

As Andrea Lissoni, curator of the exhibition, said: “Hypothesis can be considered an experimental model for a solo show, in which different existing works are recombined for just the duration of the exhibition, becoming a temporary installation, and then getting back their individual lives and status after the  show itself has ended. Hypothesis is a hypothesis for a time-based exhibition in which beginning and end are no longer located in the space but dispersed in time, enabling a never ending iridescent experience of the artworks as well as of the venue.”

The presentation of Another Day with Another Sun, 2014, has been supported by Kvadrat, who holds the leading position in Europe’s high-quality contemporary textiles market, and has contributed with 1000 meters of Stoplight Colour 3 to the exhibition.


The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully illustrated book focused on Philippe Parreno’s work of the past five years edited by Andrea Lissoni. It will include an interview with the artist by Andrea Lissoni and Obrist Hans Ulrich and feature essays by art historian and critic Molly Nesbit, film critic Cyril Béghin and the British novelist Adam Thirlwell. Co-produced by HangarBicocca and the Park Avenue Armory, it will thoroughly document the two respective exhibitions and be published by Mousse Publishing in December 2015.


HangarBicocca – via Chiese 2, Milan
Opening Wednesday 21 October 2015 at 7pm
22 October 2015 – 14 February 2016