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Pierre Huyghe: Untitled (Human Mask)

Pierre Huyghe: Untitled (Human Mask)

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Pierre Huyghe: Untitled (Human Mask)

W021842 | $19.95 / 20% library disc.

Mark Lewis. Afterall Books, Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, University of the Arts, London, 2020.

126 pp. Moderately Illustrated (some col.). 21 x 15 cm. In English. Paperbound.

ISBN 9781846382130

Pierre Huyghe's 2014 film Untitled (Human Mask) combines images of a post-apocalyptic world (actual footage of deserted streets close to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster of March 2011) with a haunting scene of a monkey working in an empty restaurant wearing a human mask and a wig. She's a girl! The flat, emotionless almost automaton state of the mask and the artificial glossy hair topped even with a child's bow, suggests that she, the monkey, might be a character from Japanese Noh theatre. But there's no music. Instead Huyghe's film evinces the terrifying possibility that our own, human, future might just be one of remnants and mimicry; that the deserted streets of Fukushima and the monkey's recognizable, alienating chimeric performance is all that might survive us. Untitled (Human Mask) presents a pluperfect world with extinction the endgame for a civilization that cared little for the present, dreaming only of a future that inevitably and necessarily could not include it.

Subject Headings: Eastern and Western European Art ; Western Art -- France -- Post-1945 ; Post-1970 ; Post-1990 ; Post-2000 -- Video/Film --

Artist(s): Huyghe, Pierre

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