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Pierre Huyghe

3 Oct 2018
10 Feb 2019
Serpentine Galleries
Kensington Gardens
W2 3XA London

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Pierre Huyghe. Courtesy: the artist and Serpentine Galleries; © Kamitani Lab / Kyoto University and ATR

Pierre Huyghe. Courtesy: the artist and Serpentine Galleries; © Kamitani Lab / Kyoto University and ATR

Critic’s Pick: 

As yet untitled, and kept behind closed doors until the Tuesday opening, Pierre Huyghe’s first significant work since his 2017 Skulptur Projekte Münster installation, After ALife Ahead, introduces artificial intelligence into the environmental equation. Rather than excavate into the floor, as in Münster, the artist has sanded into the gallery walls to expose layers of paint from previous exhibitions in the space, leaving fine dust that threatens to adhere to visitors’ garments, taking a journey through time on a journey through space.

Human visitors will be kept company by a large swarm of flies – fed on sugar up in the rotunda of the central gallery – and hints of an intelligent presence manifested on five large LED screens around the gallery. Continuing his exploration into artmaking without authorship, Huyghe has worked with a team in Kyoto using machine learning for Deep Image Reconstruction. A subject was asked to picture a set of images and ideas during a functional MRI scan: what we see is the resulting analysis of his brain activity as the AI searches to identify the image in his mind’s eye. There are smells, too. A neural network monitoring human activity in the gallery rounds off Huyghe’s new ecosystem.

-- Hettie Judah

For more picks from London read our Critic's Guide to the city here.