pierre huyghe

"In the society of the spectacle, everyone can lay claim to performer status. Huyghe's work takes account of the fact that human activities are no longer inscribed solely on specialised surfaces, but everywhere - because the human city has become a vast recording process, from surveillance cameras to the mass media. As the philosopher Jean-François Lyotard has written, swimming is an inscription, just like painting.... Using the tools of production made available to an audience - events, processes, objects or images - Huyghe suggests structures that enable us to interpret life, rather than simply being subjected to its formatting processes. His art seeks to create a kind of alternative editing suite for social scenarios. It allows us to re-compose the screenplays that define our daily life, to replay "social times" on a different scale.... The last word should go to the Italian novelist and playwright Luigi Pirandello: "The reversibility of appearance and reality is the only means of artistic access to the real."

by Nicolas Bourriaud... a critic living in Paris. He is the author of Relational Aesthetics, published by les Presses du Réel, Dijon.