Pierre Huyghe: L'ELLIPSE

4 September–3 October 1999

“One who repeatedly looks back to the film classics is the French artist Pierre Huyghe. The video installation he is currently showing at Gallery Index is a kind of ‘reworking’ of Wim Wenders’ film ‘The American Friend’ from 1977. Huyghe has captured a central passage in the middle of the film where the main character (played by Bruno Ganz) has to move between two apartments in Paris, a movement that the viewers get to visualize themselves. What Huyghe has done is add to this shift – as he imagines it would look. Twenty years after the film was shot, he asks Bruno Ganz to walk the distance that his character in the film should have walked. This inserted scene becomes a strange passage: between then and now, between fiction and everyday reality, between the director’s ideas about the film and the version that is created by the viewer.”

Translated quote from DN, 1999-09-18, Milou Allerholm. Read full text in Swedish.

“Huyghe’s sequence deals with what Wenders deliberately chose to exclude in order for us to use our imagination. By, like Huyghe, introducing an aging Ganz into this gap, an unexpected multi-layered conversation arises with what was once rejected, while all sequences take on a new meaning. Huyghe lets us step into the film again to take part, this time in the emptiness of life, the seemingly uneventful movements that fill our lives and that largely characterizes our existence. The intervention depicts these unspectacular everyday passages when nothing really seems to happen, but when the reflection has time to mature and perhaps come to a final decision. /…/ Without much fuss, Huyghes has made a painfully physical representation of all the water that has flowed under the bridges of the river Seine. It is a continuation of his long-standing project of exploring the field of tension between reality and fiction by reusing and bringing together other people’s films and videos with his own.”

Translated quote from SvD, 1999-09-18, Mårten Castenfors. Read full text in Swedish.