Quasi Objects: My Room is a Fish Bowl, AC/DC Snakes, Happy Ending, Il Tempo del Postino, Opalescent acrylic glass podium, Disklavier Piano.


Various helium inflatable float balloons in the shape of fish, electrical plugs and adapters, lamp with Arne Jacobsen lampshade, electrical system, electrical wire and plug, magnifying glass, opalescent acrylic glass podium, LED lights, 6 plugs.

194.5 x 600 x 300 cm (76 9/16 x 236 1/4 x 118 1/8 in.)

For Philippe Parreno, the various elements that make up this work are “quasi-objects”. This notion, borrowed from Michel Serres, refers to the role of intersub-jective mediation played by certain objects which, like banknotes or footballs, act as relational tools enabling individuals to situate themselves in relation to one another. “Quasi-objects” are “almost-subjects”. By their interactional nature, they exist beyond themselves, as a situation resulting from their relationship. Each of the “quasi-objects” grouped together by the artist refers to one of his previous projects. On a rectangular opalescent glass podium, inflatable fish filled with helium—already present in 2016 in the exhibition Anywhen— a Disklavier player piano playing Franz Liszt’s Nuages gris, a lamp designed by Arne Jacobsen, and two AC/DC Snakes—assemblies made up of adapters, multi-plugs, and night-lights, the first versions of which date back to 1995—all coexist. The light and sound elements of the installation are synchronized using an algorithm designed by the artist. Only the helium-filled fish, whose nonchalant wandering follows the uncertain rhythm of the air currents and the comings and goings of visitors, seem to escape this automated programme. By reusing these pre-existing forms, Parreno reinterprets the genealogy of his work, and creates a junction at the intersection of his different projects which, through their encounter, hybridize and reinvent themselves.