In Pierre Huyghe’s work, the boundary between fiction and reality is blurred as he constructs an experience of the world. In masterfully, painstakingly staged settings, people and puppets behave as equals while animals and plants appear to amble leisurely on both sides of the border of the imaginary. (Untitled) Human Mask, created in 2014, takes viewers to a Japanese landscape scarred by the recent tsunami and the Fukushima nuclear disaster. There we witness a scene inspired by real-life events: in an empty, dilapidated restaurant, a monkey whose face is concealed by a traditional theater mask seems to be waiting for customers who never come. Impatiently pacing the premises, stopping to listen for the sound of someone approaching, or gazing out the window, the character trapped in that surreal setting performs a routine whose theme, according to the artist himself, is none other than the human condition.
(Untitled) Human Mask (2014)
Film, color, stereo sound, 2 min. 66 sec. Running time: 19 min.
Courtesy of the artist and Hauser & Wirth, London, & Anna Lena Films, Paris
© Pierre Huyghe, VEGAP, 2017