Arts and Design

A brush with… Philippe Parreno




Philippe Parreno
Photo: Andrea Rossetti

In this episode of A brush with…, Philippe Parreno talks to Ben Luke about about the artists, writers, musicians and other cultural figures who inspire and intrigue him, and the pivotal cultural moments in his life.

A master of exhibition-making, Parreno was born in 1964 in Oran, Algeria, but grew up Grenoble in France. Ever since he emerged in the 1990s, he has used the spaces he shows in and the immediate environment around them as an active presence in his work. Architectural elements in the gallery might be animated at certain moments, lighting might flicker according to scores we don’t see, screens might descend to show examples of Philippe’s diverse video works, at unexpected times. Often these actions are triggered by hidden environmental forces that Philippe harnesses as data to orchestrate his shows.


Danny / No More Reality by Philippe Parreno, shown at LUMA Arles
© Adrian Deweerd

The artist talks about his close network of collaborators, the group shows they put on early in their careers, his interest in science fiction, his new work about Francisco de Goya’s Black Paintings, his aim to make a film about Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein from the monster’s point of view, and the unlikely experience of getting Angus Young from AC/DC to contribute to one of his works. Plus, he responds to the ultimate questions we ask on each podcast: if he could live with just one work of art, what would it be? And, what is art for?

A brush with… series 6 runs from 15 September – 6 October 2021, with episodes released on Wednesdays. You can download and subscribe to the podcast here. This episode is sponsored by Bloomberg Connects.

• Phillipe Parreno’s Goya is at the Beyeler Foundation, Basel (10 October-23 January 2022; and you can see Danny / No More Reality at LUMA Arles.





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