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b. 1964, France

Philippe Parreno Biography

Known for his immersive site-specific installations and film works, Philippe Parreno often investigates various modes of narration and representation in his work.

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Born in Oran, Algeria, Philippe Parreno was raised in Grenoble, France. The artist first studied at Grenoble's École des Beaux-Arts (1983—1988), after which he attended the Institut des hautes études en arts plastique, Palais de Tokyo, in Paris (1988—1989).


Shortly after graduating, Parreno began to explore various ways of representing images and reality in his video-based works. In No More Reality II (la manifestation) (1991), a group of children wave banners and placards while shouting, 'No more reality!', raising questions about the meaning of reality in a world inundated with images. No More Reality Whereabouts (2019), created almost three decades later, further examines the authenticity of images by combining footage produced over a span of 20 years.


Frequently collaborating with artists and professionals across other disciplines, in the late 1990s, Parreno worked with French artist Pierre Huyghe to create No Ghost Just a Shell (1999—2002), a project revolving around a manga character named AnnLee. Having purchased the copyright to her images, the two artists rendered her three-dimensionally in a series of videos. In the videos, AnnLee discusses the disparate but overlapping aspects of her identities as a work of art, a female character, and a commodity.

Stressing his inclination towards collaboration and conversation, Parreno has invited fellow artists to incorporate AnnLee into their works. In 2002, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art organised No Ghost Just a Shell, a group exhibition of works by Parreno, Huyghe, Liam Gillick, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Rirkrit Tiravanija, and Melik Ohanian, among others, all of which feature AnnLee.

Zidane, a 21st century portrait

In 2006, Parenno collaborated with Douglas Gordon to create a film focused on the French soccer star Zinédine Zidane. Assembled from live broadcasts and footage shot of the player during one single match using 17 cameras and multiple angles, the film was conceived by the two artists having regard to the genre of portraiture. It can be related to Diego Velázquez's portraits, as well as to Andy Warhol's real-time film portraits.

The dual-channel video version of Zidane was subsequently acquired by the Guggenheim, the website of which describes the work as, 'deepening the psychological complexity of the portrait and echoing the broader mass-dissemination of the celebrity-hero'.


Parreno envisions the format of an exhibition as a medium in itself, and often introduces interdisciplinary elements to his shows to reconfigure the traditional viewer-artwork relationship. Anywhen, his solo exhibition at Tate Modern's Turbine Hall in 2016, included an installation of helium-filled fish balloons across the site. The fish were accompanied by a score designed by Nicolas Becker, Parreno's long-time collaborator, and composer Cengiz Hartlap, as well as a moving spotlight made in collaboration with Liam Gillick.


In 2019, Parreno presented the site-specific installation Echo at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Composed of kinetic parts, a video screen, and hanging lamps, the work was programmed to translate data from its surroundings—from the velocity of wind to the sounds of visitors—into audio and light that 'echoed' its environment.


The artist's current exhibition on Ocula is LUMA Arles, 2021 Opening Exhibitions with the Parkett Archive at LUMA Arles, France (25 June—31 December 2021).

In addition to this exhibition, the artist has participated in solo exhibitions including Echo, The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York (2019); Philippe Parreno, Gropius Bau, Berlin (2018); Two Automatons for One Duet, The Art Institute of Chicago (2018); La Levadura y el Anfitrión, Museo Jumex, Mexico City (2017); Synchronicity, Rockbund Art Museum, Shanghai (2017); Anywhen, Hyundai Commission, Turbine Hall, Tate Modern, London (2016); Philippe Parreno: My Room is Another Fish Bowl, Brooklyn Museum, New York (2016); Anywhere, Anywhere Out of the World, Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2013); and Philippe Parreno, Garage Center for Contemporary Culture, Moscow (2013).

The artist has also participated in the 57th Venice Biennale (2017) and the 11th Gwangju Biennale (2016).


Philippe Parreno's Instagram can be found here.

Ocula | 2021

Exhibition view: LUMA Arles, 2021 opening exhibitions with the Parkett Archive. Courtesy Parkett. 

Philippe Parreno Featured Artworks

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Marquee by Philippe Parreno contemporary artwork sculpture
Philippe ParrenoMarquee, 2021Opalescent PMMA, opalescent glass, LED lights
139 x 73 cm
Pilar Corrias Enquire
With a Rhythmic Instinction to be Able to Travel Beyond Existing Forces of Life by Philippe Parreno contemporary artwork sculpture
Philippe ParrenoWith a Rhythmic Instinction to be Able to Travel Beyond Existing Forces of Life, 2018LED panels, mac mini, speakers, amplifiers, powder coated steel
Pilar Corrias Enquire
Iceman in Reality Park by Philippe Parreno contemporary artwork sculpture
Philippe ParrenoIceman in Reality Park, 1995–2019Sculpted ice, stones, wooden sticks, Corian plinth with found Japanese metal manhole cover, sound installation
Esther Schipper Contact Gallery
Fraught Times, UK 22nd–23rd March 2013 by Philippe Parreno contemporary artwork sculpture
Philippe ParrenoFraught Times, UK 22nd–23rd March 2013, 2020Tree: Cast and painted stainless steel, glass and 5 glass ornaments; glass structure: switchable glass and polished stainless steel
220 x 205 x 170 cm
Pilar Corrias Enquire
The Corner Cat by Philippe Parreno contemporary artwork sculpture, photography
Philippe ParrenoThe Corner Cat, 2020Duratrans transparency in lightbox
21 x 27.5 cm
Esther Schipper Contact Gallery
Speech Bubbles (Transparent) by Philippe Parreno contemporary artwork sculpture, installation
Philippe ParrenoSpeech Bubbles (Transparent), 2017Mylar balloons, helium
Winsing Art Place
Marquee by Philippe Parreno contemporary artwork sculpture, installation, mixed media
Philippe ParrenoMarquee, 2016Opaque Plexiglas, lightbulbs, neon tubes, DMX recorder, dimmers, transducers, light and sound program, opaque acrylic chains
60 x 187 x 80 cm
Winsing Art Place
Speech Bubbles (Fuchsia) by Philippe Parreno contemporary artwork installation
Philippe ParrenoSpeech Bubbles (Fuchsia), 2015Fuchsia Mylar balloons, helium
68 x 109 x 29 cm
Gallery Baton Contact Gallery

Philippe Parreno Current & Recent Exhibitions

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Philippe Parreno Represented By

Gladstone Gallery contemporary art gallery in 515 West 24th Street, New York, USA Gladstone Gallery Brussels, New York

Philippe Parreno In Ocula Magazine

Philippe Parreno In Related Press

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