Philippe Parreno

Centre Pompidou

A LARGE CANOPY OF PLEXIGLAS, neon, and rows of twinkling lights—the kind of thing typically found above the entry to a movie theater—announced Philippe Parreno’s retrospective at the Centre Pompidou. Only after passing beneath Marquee, 2009, the latest in a suite of similar works begun in 2006, did one enter the vast, almost empty space of the exhibition. But if Marquee immediately invoked film, or the filmic imaginary, as the key to a reading of the artist’s work, this was no ordinary cinema. The lighted signage at the entrance bore no movie titles; instead, neither quite a readymade nor an autonomous piece of sculpture, it signaled the shifting state of the “scenario” within. When its lightbulbs flashed, the gallery was lit normally, but when they were off, the space inside was dark and a film was projected. Each visitor was thus summoned as several spectators at once: filmgoer, viewer

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