Commissioned by the Walker Art Center, organized by Vincenzo de Bellis in collaboration with Fionn Meade
The result of two years of collaborative conversation between Philippe Parreno and Fionn Meade, The Marquis and the Sisters (2016-2017) is the artist’s first permanent public artwork. See below for the official press release on the project:
As part of the next phase of the Walker Art Center’s commissions for the newly renovated building and Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, Philippe Parreno will install his first permanent public artwork, comprised of two site-specific, living sculptures, collectively titled The Marquis and the Sisters (2016-2017), that together underscore the connection between interior and exterior spaces and transform the exhibition experience.
Starting in 2006, Parreno began creating a series of marquees or light sculptures derived from the traditional canopies illuminated in front of a theatre or cinema, and began to redistribute them into museum and gallery contexts. As part of his commission, Parreno is fabricating his first permanent marquee in the US, specifically designed to augment the architecture of the Cargill Lounge. A juxtaposition of natural light and artificial illumination, a glass marquee glows and dims with brass inflections, marking a boundary between the inside and outside of the Walker Art Center.
Often referring to himself as an exhibition producer rather than an artist, Parreno is staging an intervention into the view of the Walker’s Wurtele Upper Garden by choreographing kinetic blinds in concert with the marquee, programmed via satellite by the artist himself to rhythmically ascend and descend as per a musical score. In The Marquis and the Sisters, Parreno transforms the museum itself into a scripted space in which a series of events unfolds during open and closed hours.