By Van Badham
Marilyn Munroe resurrected, hypnotised waltzers and a projectionist changing the show on a whim: the French artist’s exhibition at Acmi is cinema subverted
Philippe Parreno’s interest is in blurring the recognisable boundaries that distinguish fiction from documentary, film from other forms of artistic expression, and real time from the cinematic illusion of how time passes.
In the retrospective of the French multidisciplinary artist’s films, Thenabouts, showing now at the Australian Centre for Moving Image in Melbourne, the structure of the experience itself illustrates his exploration of deliberate uncertainties. Thenabouts offers Parreno’s 30 short films in Acmi’s vast underground chamber like a visual art installation, the screen rising from a carpet that has no fixed seating but floating balloons shaped like fish. Lights go on and off, surround sound swallows the moments of darkness, and the projectionist and their equipment are lit in a glass box, fixed and visible in the centre of the room.