One Million Kingdoms


Beta Digital film, colour

6min. 45sec.

Pierre Huygue’s 2001 project One Million Kingdoms, completed with support from Philippe Parreno and Dominique Gonzalez-Forster, aimed to restore the sign’s freedom by returning it to its own condition as sign. Huygue acquired the rights to the Japanese manga character Ann Lee before artistically reinvesting it and freeing it from its copyright.

In his video One Million Kingdoms, Huygue uses Ann Lee who embodies Neil Armstrong's speech setting foot on the moon with an electronically transformed voice, and excerpts from Jules Verne's Journey to the Centre of the Earth. The pop culture character moves around in an environment generated graphically by the words he utters, representing his semiotic emancipation.

Huygue’s video One Million Kingdoms, which is in the Pinault Collection, was shown during the 2009 exhibition "Un certain état du monde ?" (“A Certain State of the World?”) at the Garage Center for Contemporary Culture in Moscow.