(Untitled) Human Mask
by Pierre Huyghe, France 2014, 19 '
     
     
     

Schermo dell'Arte - Archivio Film
Presented at Lo Schermo dell’Arte Film Festival 2015

The French artist drew inspiration for this enigmatic film from the true story of a restaurant near Tokyo, known for using trained monkeys as waiters. Huyghe, who often includes animals in his work, filmed a monkey whose expressionless face is a human mask based on those of the traditional Noh Theater. Imagining itself to be the last survivor of the nuclear accident at Fukushima after the tsunami of 2011, the animal’s artificially melancholic, impenetrable face is a metaphor for the human condition. Forced to endlessly repeat his role, he wanders, trapped in an empty restaurant filled with ghostly presences and inhumane absences. This disarming film highlights the logical, mental and emotional ambiguity created by a world now so hopelessly artificial and post-human as to have reached the point of no return, and to have forgotten the laws of nature. 

Pierre Huyghe 
Born in Paris in 1962, he lives and works between Paris and New York. One of the best-known international artists, he uses diverse media, from film to video, from group projects to performance, and actions that involve public space. His work has been shown in galleries, museums and many e international institutions. Among his most recent one-man shows: The Roof Garden Commission, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2015); Collection Display: Untitled (Liegender Frauenakt), MoMA, New York (2015); Pierre Huyghe, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles (2014); Pierre Huyghe, Centre Pompidou, Paris (2013). Recent group shows: 14th Istanbul Biennale (2015); White Fire, The Kunstmuseum Basel Modern Collection, Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid (2015); The Hidden Passengers, Apexart, New York (2014); Documenta 13, Kassel (2012). He has won many prizes, including: Best Monographic Museum Show Nationally, International Association of Art Critics Award (2015), Kurt Schwitters Prize (2015), Smithsonian American Museum’s Contemporary Artist Award (2010), Special Prize, Biennale di Venezia (2001). 

 

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