Philippe Parreno: Applied Cinema

Reframing the Exhibition

At the beginning of the 1990s, the preoccupation with the conditions of exhibiting again became a focus of artistic practice.

For Philippe Parreno, one of the key questions was how art could react to the cultural and social challenges of the information age. His main concern was the exhibition as a cultural format of presentation and as an artistic medium that, more than any other means of artistic creation, determines the framework for the artist’s participation in public discourse.

By applying the features, procedures, and terminology of film and other culturally dominant formats of information he explored and put up for discussion some of the essential factors of display: the way in which space and time are handled, the status and function of the exhibit, the roles and behavior of artist and audience. By reframing the notion of “exhibition” in this way he created scenarios that oscillated between different states, categories, and meanings, depending on how the people involved related to them. His artworks in exhibition format were thus also a critique of how mass media, art, and art institutions work to produce meaning and inform the behavior of their audiences.

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