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Philippe Parreno

Suicide in Vermillon Sands

537 W 22nd Street

October 10 – November 15, 2008

Suicide in Vermillion Sands
Suicide in Vermillion Sands
Suicide in Vermillion Sands
Suicide in Vermillion Sands
Small Version of Guggenheim Marquee
Small Version of Guggenheim Marquee
Small Version of Guggenheim Marquee
Suicide in Vermillion Sands
Suicide in Vermillion Sands
First Page, Last Page
infinite urban landscape, curious echoes stir, a light hysterical laugh
skies are larger, air more generous
a new dimension in living, psychotropic houses, clear concrete, liquid stone, shy objects, sodium lights, sonic jewels glinting, soprano mimosas singing, idyll and romance, non-aural music & erotic food
(multiple titles) 2008
I introduce myself as a mistake
born from the living dead, no city wants me, the underground man, inhabiting someone else's brain, never show any emotion or response, ice face
I don't sweat anymore, ethical corpse, anguished squid, self-destructive cells, keep your secret secretly, it doesn't do any good to talk, Darling, you're getting over-intuitive again
dreaming the real, phonoglutamate, a red signal, underlying neural activity, concatenated reentrant loops-Semiophysis, falls into the dimensions of the pictogram
(multiple titles) 2008
fictionalizing frequencies, I'll take your brain into another dimension, feel the fever rising, lightning flashes, "Where are you going? Everything is dead in here"
flexed and quivering, say goodbye to the wind, everything falls into place, release the repressed material
acute urgency, ultrasonic squirrel screams, crushing skulls and bones, the violence is unique, suicide party, your own self-requiem
severe sonic trauma, literally black, you are weightless...
after affects, the whole world is singing, the tailor killed by his own cloth, I can hear them laughing
I-go. 2008 Vermillion pigment on paper
White Marquee 2008

Opening Reception: Friday, October 10, 6–8 pm

"What unfolds is not a multitude of characters and fates in a single objective world, illuminated by a single authorial consciousness; rather a plurality of consciousnesses, with equal rights and each with its own world, combine but are not merged in the unity of the event."

-M.M. Bakhtin, Problems of Dostoevsky's Poetics

Friedrich Petzel Gallery is pleased to present Suicide in Vermillon Sands, Philippe Parreno's fourth solo exhibition at the gallery.

A hallway leading into the exhibition holds a red theater marquee. The newest version of Parreno's flashing labels, the marquee flashes on and off, consuming the exhibition space. These twinkling red lights refer to the cinematic technique of a shot which presents the face of someone looking at the flames of a fire. The fire is never seen, but its presence is felt through the flickering light which falls across the actor's face. The marquee produces the same experience as a flickering light machine produces in the movies. Upon entering the space, it feels as if the gallery is on fire. The stage is set for a drama.

The hallway opens onto a room with a series of 78 drawings, all done in monochrome vermilion. The drawings were based on the illustrations of 31 graphic designers with whom Parreno collaborated over several years, creating a polyphony of voices. The multiplicity and coexistence of these voices form a dialogue which replaces any finalizability or temporal configuration of a story,
the story of a character who appears and disappears in New York City in October, 2008.

The third room of the gallery presents a third chapter to the story. In this all white space with a white, ghostlike marquee, a magician makes a comic book of the drawings continuously appear and disappear, just as the nearby red light of the marquee flickers and fades away, over and over again.

Philippe Parreno was born in Algeria in 1964. His upcoming solo exhibitions in 2009 include the the Kunsthalle Zürich, Musée national d'Art moderne - Centre Georges Pompidou, Beaubourg, the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León, León, Center for Curatorial Studies and Art in Contemporary Culture, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson. Concurrent to this exhibition a larger marquee will be installed on the façade of the Guggenheim Museum as part of the exhibition Theanyspacewhatever scheduled to open on October 24. The artist lives and works in Paris.

There will be a magic performance for the opening of the exhibition on October 10 from 6 to 8pm.

For further information, please contact the gallery at, or call (212) 680-9467. Friedrich Petzel Gallery is located at 537 West 22nd Street, New York, NY 10011.

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