Flickering Lights (Marianne Brandt), 2018
For more than twenty years, Philippe Parreno has created artworks and installations that draw on the diverse fields of science, history, theater, and cinema. Parreno emerged in the 1990s alongside a generation of artists like Carsten Höller, Pierre Huyghe, and others who radically reimagine the possibilities of exhibitions as art forms by directly addressing the visitor’s physical, social, and psychological experience. Parreno in particular has created a number of dramatic exhibition projects where he carefully choreographs viewers’ experiences of light, sound, language, and image in museums, biennials, and festivals. Flickering Lights (Marianne Brandt) is one of several works by Parenno that takes the form of a slightly flickering domestic lighting fixture. These works follow the artist’s interest in the early twentieth-century avant-garde, the history of electricity, and the histories of spiritualism and the occult, which often intersected in Europe during the early modern period. This most recent example references the Bauhaus artist and designer Marianne Brandt, a student of László Moholy-Nagy, who created a multifaceted body of work during the 1920s and ’30s. In addition to her signature teapot design, Brandt also collaborated on a series of domestic lighting fixtures in the late 1920s. Parreno’s sculpture evokes this history while subtly transforming the owner’s everyday experience of their own home.
Courtesy the artist and Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels