Semi-opaque white Plexiglas, 231 light bulbs, 12 neon tubes (ø 14 mm), 46 m LED tape, DMX recorder, dimmers, transducers, light and sound program, acrylic chains
Glass panels: two-way mirror, security glass, polished stainless steel chains
100 x 200 x 78 cm (39 3/8 x 78 3/4 x 30 3/4 in, Marquee)
210 cm (Plexiglas chains)
140 x 270 x 0,8 cm each, 3 parts (glass panels)
Installation dimensions variable
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 work consists of a wide L-shaped corpus. Its front is made of a curved semiopaque acrylic panel that comprises 231 lights bulbs and 12 customized neon tubes. A separate drawer-element is installed inside the acrylic corpus, providing a structure for a 46-meter LED tape in 2 different white tones. The lights flicker alternatively according to a sequence conceived by the artist and controlled by a DMX recorder.
The Marquee is hanging from the ceiling with four opaque acrylic chains. The wiring cables are left visible and loose on the floor, evoking the computer brain of a science fiction machine. The humming and crackling sounds that accompany the movement of the lights reinforce the impression of the Marquee as an animated, communicating (or even breathing) being. Produced by four transducers amplifying the electrical current running through the wires attached to the Marquee like tentacles, the sound recalls buzzing neon tubes, crackling fireworks, and reverberating bass. To produce these vibrations, the transducers must be fixed to a resonating surface. For his exhibition at Esther Schipper, they were placed on three glass panels hanging from the ceiling in front of the Marquee. Made of security glass, the panels have a two-way mirror finish that reflected the Marquee.
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.