Pierre Huyghe is the artist of the year 2022

December 17, 2021

A site-specific new commission by French artist Pierre Huyghe (b. 1962, Paris) will be unveiled on 12th June. The vast permanent work will be the artist's largest site-specific work to date and the most ambitious to ever be conceived for Kistefos.

As the 50th artwork to be included in the park, the artwork will inaugurate a previously inaccessible area of the park extending the visitor landscape. The site, chosen by the artist, is in a regularly flooded area of the park next to the working power plant, linking Kistefos’ industrial heritage with what it has become today.

Huyghe is known for his immersive artworks and continues to expand our notion of what sculptural art can be.

Responding to Kistefos’ environment, If The Swamp is an entity, a milieu, both physical and digital, permeable, continuously shaped by the surrounding flood waters and modified by what it perceives. The work is simultaneously an island and the possibility of what this island could be under alternate conditions of reality.

The forests entire site has been scanned, down to its details, and digitalised. In a simulated environment, unbound from physical limitations, algorithmic and biological agent intelligences cooperate. A fiction-based set of rules is played out by learning machines that continually generate mutations of existing features, such as trees, trash, animals, or humans.

The mutations change behaviours in real time according to external factors, accelerating their growth with the flood water, and transforming over the years. At times they randomly exit the simulation to manifest themselves physically on the actual island. They sustain or decompose, modifying the island’s appearance and progressively contaminate the existing reality with another possibility of itself.

At the far end of the forest stands a screen where an autonomous eye navigates the simulated environment, witnessing its ever-changing nature.

KIS NL Final

Pierre Huyghe 2021
Courtesy of the artist; Hauser and Wirth, London; Kistefos
3D Scanning, point cloud visualization and point cloud engine by ScanLAB Projects
© Pierre Huyghe

About Pierre Huyghe

Pierre Huyghe was born in 1962 in Paris and lives and works in New York USA. His work is internationally known and presented in various exhibitions around the world.

For Huyghe the exhibition ritual is not an asymmetrical experience but an encounter with a sentient milieu, that perceives, generates new possibilities of co-dependence between events or elements that unfold. The exhibition is an entity whose time and space in which it appears are constituents of its manifestation. His works are conceived as scenarios, excesses of fiction and often present themselves as continuity between a wide range of intelligent life forms, biological, technological, and tangible inert matter that learn, modify and evolve. They are permeable, contingent, and often indifferent to witnesses.

Recent exhibitions include After UUmwelt, Luma Foundation, Arles (2021); UUmwelt, Serpentine Gallery, London (2018); The Roof Garden, Metropolitan Museum, New York (2015). In 2012 -2014, a major retrospective of Huyghe’s work traveled from the Centre Pompidou (France) to the Ludwig Museum (Germany) and to Los Angeles County Museum of Art (USA).