Pierre Huyghe - This is Not a Time for Dreaming (2004)

This is Not a Time for Dreaming (super 16mm film, 24 minutes, color, sound) originated as the central cinematic event within an ambitious project exploring the creation of Le Corbusier's one and only building in North America. The film is a portrait of a situation and is constituted by the build-up of an organism, of which architecture is only one component. Huyghe moves in and out, around the entire entity and presents us with a story of the relationship of the artist to a given context.

The film is based on a puppet musical which fuses the fantastical and historical, transforming a process of historical research into a reconfiguration of the present, and featuring musical compositions by Iannis Xenakis and Edgard Varese, who collaborated with Le Corbusier on a pavilion for the 1958 Brussels World Exhibition.

Conceptually relevant to a whole history of Huyghe's work which has addressed narrative structure, temporal process and conditions of representation and interpretation, the film This is Not A Time for Dreaming goes beyond the story of the construction of Le Corbusier's building --the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts at Harvard -- to highlight the choices involved in its creation, the complex conditions of its production, and the relevance to the artist's parallel process of exhibition-making itself .

As Huyghe says, "The difficulty in coming up with an idea became the idea". In the brochure "This is Not a Time for Dreaming" it is explained: "The long negotiation with the [Harvard] administration around the creative process [of the Corbusier commission]... gave birth to a book by Eduard Sekler. .... Sekler's book then contributed to the writing of a puppet musical, placing the two situations [ the architect's turbulent misadventures and the difficulty of the artist meeting the expectations of a commission ] in parallel. Each protagonist is portrayed: Le Corbusier, Sert and Sekler, an abstract figure representing Harvard, the two exhibition curators, Linda Norden and Scott Rothkopf, Pierre Huyghe, and a red bird. Le Corbusier was hoping that the seeds naturally brought by the birds would grow and cover the Carpenter Center's terraces with greenery. An autonomous structure covered by vegetation was built to house the show. This tumor is an architectural proturbance of this modernist dream, a monstrous vision of the spontaneous vegetal growth." -- from the brochure, This is Not a Time for Dreaming , 2004.

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