Pierre Huyghe - Streamside Day (2003)

In his new project, Streamside Day Follies, French artist Pierre Huyghe continues to explore the formative role of ideological and semiotic systems in establishing social rituals and traditions. Huyghe's exhibition includes five murals, concealed behind five supplementary walls, which are revealed when the walls begin to slowly move through the gallery to configure a pavilion in which a short fiction film is projected. When the film ends, the walls retract to their original positions along the perimeter of the space, restoring the gallery to its pristine condition.

After opening with scenes from an Edenic landscape, Huyghe's film traces the formation of a burgeoning community hypothetically located in the Hudson Valley. A young family is seen relocating to the new housing development. The first of two sections limns a mythic kernel that is then instantiated in scenes from a typical inaugural celebration devised to forge communal identity. Orchestrated by the artist for the nascent residential development that served as the prototype for his fictional construct, the celebration boasted a costume parade, a feast, music and other activities. Huyghe's multifaceted project employs a diverse range of cultural representations garnered from a myriad of references including nineteenth-century utopian social projects, Hollywood films, Disney animation, contemporary fiction writing, and romantic landscape painting.

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