Philippe Parreno’s multimedia extravaganza, H {N)Y P N(Y} OSIS, opens in New York’s Park Avenue Armory

Philippe Parreno’s multimedia extravaganza, H {N)Y P N(Y} OSIS, opens in New York’s Park Avenue Armory

Since the 1990s Philippe Parreno has promoted the notion of ’the exhibition as medium’ - the idea that individual works function as components in a larger scheme; a kind of totalising experience. This summer, Parreno will make the grandest statement yet of this philosophy with the opening of a vast show in New York’s Park Avenue Armory.

Titled ’H {N)Y P N(Y} OSIS’ (pronounced ’Hypnosis’) the show will fill the Armory’s gargantuan 55,000 sq ft ’Drill Hall’, with various elements by a host of artists, production and sound designers playing out simultaneously, the sequences and events constantly informing each other, overlapping to create near endless combinations.

Components of the show include work by Parreno himself such as new film, The Crowd (2015), as well as previous pieces and revisited formats, which have been recombined to impart a conscious New York flavour. ’The idea is for the space to seem animated by the city,’ Parreno says, ’ as if the locale is trying to communicate directly with you, to take over.’

Hanging from the Armory’s vast vaulted ceiling, meanwhile, are rows of Parreno’s trademark marquees, each of them programmed to play music across the huge space - classical pieces as well as ambient, electronic scores - while more music also emanates from ghostly pianos apparently playing themselves. Massive film screens occasionally rise and fall, and roof blinds slide open and closed, seemingly opening up the venue to the amplified street traffic sounds from Lexington Avenue outside.

The result is a shifting, spectral wonderland, where moments of thrumming noise and dazzling movement contrast spectacularly with sequences that convey a quieter more melancholy sensibility.

Read more about Philippe Parreno’s synthesis of talent and hitting a high note in New York in the July 2015 issue, page 062 (W*196). Subscribers can enjoy the limited-editon cover created by Philippe Parreno and M/M Paris, too. 

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