Philippe Parreno: SynchronicityJul 8, 2017 - Sep 17, 2017

Rockbund Art Museum (20 Huqiu Road, Huangpu District, Shanghai)
Larys Frogier
Philippe Parreno
Rockbund Art Museum
Rockbund, French Consulate-General Shanghai, Croisements festival
  • Dramaturge: Asad Raza 

    Music and Sound design: Nicolas Becker

    Show control design: Johan Lescure 

    Arrangement and sound editing: Cengiz Hartlap  Atelier

    Philippe Parreno: directed by Marie Auvity with Elsa Beaudoin et Virginie Oudjane

  • About the exhibition

    The Rockbund Art Museum will present a major solo exhibition by French artist, Philippe Parreno, his first in China. This exhibition is dedicated to the late Xavier Douroux whose influence on Parreno's career cannot be overstated.

    Curated by the Director of the museum, Larys Frogier, Parreno’s first exhibition in China will occupy four of the museum’s six floors, also extending to its seventh floor glass rooftop.

    Over the past twenty years, Parreno has radically redefined the exhibition going experience by exploring its possibilities as a medium in its own right. Realised in dialogue with the physicality and functionality of the museum’s architecture, the exhibition will alter the building’s current existence through an unexpected use of time, space, light, and sound to become a semi automated puppet, a perpetual motion of events in which Parreno subverts the conventions of the gallery space.

    Curator of the exhibition, Larys Frogier, states: “Parreno invites visitors to engage with contradictory notions of the physical, emotional, and conceptual. He blurs the distinction between reality and fiction to create an all-encompassing world of endless possibilities”.

    By manipulating light, shadow, and duration, Parreno will guide visitors through a constantly evolving space. The artist will cover various windows of the renovated Art Deco building with blinds that will act as eyelids to the building, opening and closing in different locations, and to variable time sequences – each gallery space shifts from darkness to twilight, and then to full light. Some blinds will be activated using motors, but for the very first time the artist will work with ‘dalang’ performers to operate the remainder. A ‘dalang’ refers to the puppeteer in an Indonesian Wayang performance; traditionally controlling the white screen and lighting that together create the shadow puppets that make up the performance.

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  • About the artist

    A key artist of his generation, Philippe Parreno radically redefined the exhibition experience by taking it as a medium, placing its construction at the heart of his process. Working in a diverse range of media including film, sculpture, drawing, and text, Parreno conceives his exhibitions as a scripted space where a series of events unfold. He seeks to transform the exhibition visit into a singular experience that plays with spatial and temporal boundaries and the sensory experience of the visitor, who is guided through the space by the orchestration of sound and image.


    For the artist, the exhibition is less a total work of art than a necessary interdependence that offers an ongoing series of open possibilities. Based in Paris, France, Parreno has exhibited and published internationally. He studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Grenoble from 1983 - 1988 and at the Institut des Hautes Etudes en arts plastiques at the Palais de Tokyo, Paris from 1988 -1989.


    Parreno was awarded the prestigious 2016 Hyundai Commission at Tate Modern Turbine Hall, titled Anywhen the commission received international acclaim. Parreno was also the first artist to take over the entire 22,000 square metre gallery space at the Palais de Tokyo, Paris with his exhibition Anywhere, Anywhere Out of the World which opened in October 2013. Major exhibitions of Parreno’s work include: Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art, Porto (2017); ACMI, Melbourne (2016/17); Hangar Bicocca, Milan (2015), Park Avenue Armory, New York (2015), CAC Malaga (2014), The Garage Center for Contemporary Culture, Moscow (2013); Barbican Art Gallery, London (2013); Fondation Beyeler (2012); Philadelphia Museum of Art (2012); The Serpentine Gallery, London (2010); Witte de With (2010); Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin (2009); Centre Pompidou, Paris (2009); Kunsthalle Zurich (2009); CCA Kitakyoshu, Japan (2006); Kunsthalle Zürich (2006); San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2003); Musée D’Art Moderne de le Ville de Paris (2002), and Moderna Museet, Stockholm (2001).

  • About the curator

    Larys Frogier is the Director of the Rockbund Art Museum (RAM) in Shanghai. Curator, critic and art historian, he is involved in artistic and social challenges in post-global contexts where ongoing social, economical, cultural transformations demand new ways of interrelations, citizenship and reinvented creativity.

    He has curated numerous exhibitions and published extensive essays on the works of international artists: Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Nan Goldin, Paola Pivi, UgoRondinone, Wang Du, Yang Jiechang.

    Previously the Director of the contemporary art centre La Criée in Rennes (France), he curated long-term projects (symposiums, residencies, exhibitions, publications), which question the links and ruptures between broadening transcontinental areas. Chair of the HUGO BOSS ASIA ART jury since 2013 at the Rockbund Art Museum, he is conceiving this new award, exhibition and research program as an evolving platform to promote emerging artists and to question Asia as a construction to investigate rather than a monolithic area or fixed identities.

    Larys Frogier taught art theory, history of art and curatorial studies at the University of Rennes, while he was also researcher at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) and at the Archives for Art Criticism.

  • About Xavier Douroux

    Xavier Douroux was director and co-founder (with Franck Gautherot) of the art centre Le Consortium in Dijon (1977). He was also the director and co-founder (with Franck Gautherot) of the publishing house Les presses du reel (1992), and the director and co-founder (with Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Franck Gautherot, Pierre Huyghe, Charles de Meaux, Philippe Parreno ) of the film production company Anna Sanders films (1997).

  • This art project of Philippe Parreno in China is made possible by the generous contribution from Mr. and Mrs. C. K. Cheung, Honorary Partons of RAM since 2016. Both the museum and the artist are sincerely grateful to their great and consistant support.

    The Documentary of Philippe Parreno:Synchronicity
  • Installation View of “Synchronicity”
  • Installation View of “Synchronicity”
  • Installation View of “Synchronicity”
  • Installation View of “Synchronicity”
  • Installation View of “Synchronicity”
  • Installation View of “Synchronicity”
  • Installation View of “Synchronicity”
  • Installation View of “Synchronicity”
  • Installation View of “Synchronicity”
  • Installation View of “Synchronicity”
  • Installation View of “Synchronicity”
  • Installation View of “Synchronicity”

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