I was lucky to have a friend tell me I should check out the Pierre Huyghe exhibit at the L.A. County Museum of Arts when I was in town back in January. On a perfectly rainy museum day, I went alone to the LACMA and spent several hours there, but most of that time was spent at this singular show from an artist I'd never heard of until that day.
At its best, art should challenge, temporarily alter and possibly even permanently change your perceptions of the world. It is rare for me to encounter that, but when I do, it really excites me. I hadn't seen a show that gave me that visceral response in quite a long time. But here was an artist working in multiple disciplines and media (high-production filmmaking, performance, drawing, installation, audio/video, sculpture, natural objects) and excelling at all. An underwater crab with a Brancusi shell, floating boulders, a reclining woman with a bees nest for a head, a ghostly white dog walking among the audience with a scarlet-painted leg, a man with a glowing LED face-mask, on and on. I felt dropped into an alternate universe. But the films were what really astonished me. There was that sense of odd beauty and playfulness with a little foreboding, combining everyday elements into striking new images that made me think of other artists--Michel Gondry, Chris Cunningham, Spike Jonze and Matthew Barney, even the great European director Krysztof Kieslowki--though Huyghe's work felt completely original. Unfortunatey, the show only runs for a couple more days as I just discovered, so I thought I should post this now. It is hard to get a sense of his work online, you really have to just see it, and I hope any of you reading this will get the opportunity.