Philippe Parreno's Marquee belongs to an ongoing body of work started in 2006 that consists of more than 60 existing marquees to date.
The rectangular corpus made of transparent Plexiglas houses 70 white light bulbs arranged on a grid. The corpus is strapped with 6 white neon tubes. The light bulbs and neon lights flicker alternatively according to a lighting program controlled by a DMX recorder.
Parreno’s Marquees are unique pieces, individual in their form, light effect and construction. The artist’s Marquees combine lighting techniques that are almost a thing of the past (such as incandescent bulbs and neon tubes) with modern acrylics that are milled, shaped and formed according to the latest fabrication methods. Marquees first appeared at the beginning of the 20th century. The glowing, flickering porch roofs in front of entrances to cinemas and theaters were announcing movie titles and names of actors. Placed over the entrance of a gallery a Marquee by Philippe Parreno usually announces an exhibition event or a performance that takes place at the venue. The light-lit planes of the Marquees carry no text, thus the works play with a level of abstraction and acquire a different meaning according to the context of an exhibition and imagination of the viewer.
The artist built his first Marquee on occasion of the exhibition Interior Cartoons at Esther Schipper in Berlin (2006). Parreno’s biggest Marquee to date was installed inside the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern in London, on occasion of the artist’s 2016 Hyundai Commission: Anywhen.