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Philippe Parreno's Mise-en-scène

The exhibition Dancing around the Bride presents the art, music, and dance of Cage, Cunningham, Johns, Rauschenberg, and Duchamp in a distinctive scripted experience conceived by acclaimed artist and filmmaker Philippe Parreno (born 1964, France; lives and works in Paris). A contemporary artist working in film, sculpture, drawing, and installation, Parreno has incorporated novel modes of temporal and spatial sequencing in past exhibitions of his own work in a unique vision that considers the multivalent conditions of looking at art as interwoven with space, time, light, and sound.

Serving as the metteur en scène (orchestrator) of Dancing around the Bride, Parreno has choreographed many different types of encounters into the space of the exhibition, activating the role of time and motion around art objects and inviting visitors to join the artists in a ballroom setting. His interventions were conceived in imaginary dialogue with Duchamp with particular reference to the transparency of The Large Glass. Invoking the notion of the ghost, existing between presence and absence, Parreno's interventions reflect upon his interest in the tension between the lasting impact of these artists, the material fragility of the works they created, and the ephemeral nature of their collaborations. The varied sequence of Parreno's subtle orchestration of live and prerecorded sound, arranged in concert with live music and dance performances, enables the exhibition itself to change over time.

The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even (The Large Glass)
The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even (The Large Glass), 1915-1923
Marcel Duchamp, American (born France)
Oil, varnish, lead foil, lead wire, and dust on two glass panels
9 feet 1 1/4 inches × 70 inches × 3 3/8 inches (277.5 × 177.8 × 8.6 cm)
Bequest of Katherine S. Dreier, 1952
1952-98-1
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Parreno's interventions are woven throughout the exhibition:
  1. Dancing around the Bride
    2012
    Plexiglas, 456 lightbulbs, 27 neons, and three 500w halogen lamps
    Courtesy of Pilar Corrias Gallery
  2. The anteroom
    2012
    Sound-suppressing room with acoustic materials
    Courtesy of the artist
  3. Le voile de la mariée (The Veil of the Bride)
    2012
    Plexiglas
    Courtesy of the artist
  4. How Can We Know the Dancer from the Dance?
    2012
    Dance floor, speakers, and prerecorded sound
    Courtesy of the artist
  5. Le fantôme (The Ghost)
    2012
    Plywood, Plexiglas, and paint
    Courtesy of the artist
  6. The 3 Sisters
    2012
    Live and prerecorded sound, microphones, speakers, and mechanized blinds
    Duration: 4 minutes, 33 seconds
    Courtesy of the artist

The show features a soundscape that includes musical and sound works by Duchamp, Cage, Parreno, and composer David Behrman. This soundscape plays throughout the space and on two Yamaha Disklavier pianos, one in this gallery and one in the Great Stair Hall. The labels, Luciole (Fireflies), accompanying related manuscripts and interventions will light up to indicate what audible elements are being played.

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