DRAF is delighted to present the UK premiere of Pierre Huyghe’s masterpiece The Host and the Cloud (2009–10), a feature-length film by the acclaimed artist. “Combining staged and improvised action, and running to just over two hours, the film [….] might be Huyghe’s most elaborate, intriguing and, quite possibly, weirdest offering to date” (Naomi Fry, Frieze, 2011).
Shot during a three-day live project, the film follows a group of actors through a series of fragmented narratives, improvised scenes, and fantastical visions staged within a deserted museum. The result is a mesmerising masterpiece, and the inauguration of Huyghe’s ongoing experiments with ecosystems as presented at dOCUMENTA (13) in 2012 and his current retrospective at Centre Pompidou, Paris (to January 2014).
Ritual, commerce, and mythology intersect with mordant effect in […] The Host and the Cloud. Filmed in a building that once housed the French National Museum of Art and Popular Traditions, and shot on three separate occasions coinciding with Halloween, Valentine’s Day, and May Day, in this piece the emptied museum becomes a sort of Gormenghast castle populated by a stealthy cast of characters derived from both urban and historic folklore, including, among others, the grim reaper, E.T., and witches. Via the repetition of decontextualized ceremonies and farcical processions over the course of the film (including a trial, a coronation, and an impromptu catwalk), the gathered ensemble attempt to invoke, and perhaps thereby locate and release, those archetypal forces that lie bound within the institution of the culture industry.
[…] [T]he mask now becomes the visage of false illumination. Indeed, as Jean Baudrillard noted in an essay accompanying the artist’s Tate Modern solo exhibition “Celebration Park” in 2006, “Huyghe’s strength lies in his understanding . . . [that] images have become masks for universal media ventriloquism.” The vestiges of ceremony and myth, particularly costumes and procession, become, for the artist, symbols of this cultural ventriloquism. Ultimately, in a staged world we are, according to Huyghe, but mere actors.
Joseph Akel, Artforum, 2010
PLEASE NOTE: Seats for this event are free but places are limited – please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to book. The work is not suitable for those under 15 years old. This event will take place at Rio Cinema, 107 Kingsland High St, London E8 2PB, London. The screening will start at 6pm; please arrive in time to be seated.