Backstage: Pierre Huyghe

Meet Pierre Huyghe,

organizer, artisan, FRENCHMAN

Hometown Paris, France

favorite american restaurant La Esquina

favorite parisian tourist site Jardin de Climatation

Favorite film “F for Fake” by Orson Welles

QWhy were you drawn to film as a medium?

AI primarily do constructed situations. These constructed situations are mediated through the best medium I found to grab the complexity, and that is often film. It just happened that they’re presented through a video system because that’s the system that’s available. I don’t care about medium, actually. I’m more into trying to organize events and how they work and that is the best medium I found.

QWhat influences your work?

AIt comes as much from literature as cinema as architecture as daily life as art. But I’m not only looking at artists as influences for my work in a certain way. It comes from different fields. I was in a school where there were different fields, and I’m still looking at them. I can still discuss with an architect a way to build these constructions or look at video work. These influences are very diverse, I would say. It’s not linked to anything specific.

QIn “Third Memory” you blur reality and fiction. Would you say this is a recurring theme in your work?

AI don’t like to say simply reality and fiction because I think that part of reality is built by fictional structure. Maybe I’m interested in things that are given as accidents and also constructions. I’m blurring the line between constructs and accidents, rather than to say reality and fiction. But, yes I’m interested by the complexity of the situation. In any situation there is fact and there is constructed fact, and I’m interested to see the relationship between these different instances and elements.

QDo you plan to make a feature-length film?

AYes. I think often about making a feature film. It is not a fantasy for me anymore. I think I will probably go to feature film at one point, but it will not be like a classic film. I will have to invent the form itself. This mediation will have to be an experience in itself and it will be literally linked directly to reality. So the film will be a construction for life.

QWhat has brought you to this point?

AIn my first years I didn’t have any opportunity to show works and maybe that saved me in a certain way. Rather than immediately become an artisan I had to build things to show in a certain kind of structure, like a market structure. I tried to experience things by myself without thinking about any resolution. The fact that the resolution was suspended or because I didn’t know how to resolve something made me think about more situations and facts.

QWhat are you currently working on?

AI’m working on two things. The first is a play that is happening in an old museum that closed five years ago. I’m asking 50 actors to take the role of all the employees of the museum. As you visit the museum everyday it’s always the same situation that is occurring, and you can go to the office of the director or to the guy who is cleaning the museum, and it’s all in a certain way a play. The audience can actually go in the museum and experience this collection of situations. Within this museum the employees are the permanent collection. There will also be a temporary collection, which will define our experience through performance and spectacle.

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