Now I would like to take a look and analyse some works of contemporary artists who were inspired by cinema. And one of them was French artist Pierre Huyghe, who made a remake of the Hitchcock’s movie Rear Window (1954).

His project, named Remake (how unexpected :)), unlike others, had no intention to anyhow improve the original movie but to create a dialogue about our perception of the present and the importance of the deja vu. It was an experiment on how our past experience screens our present events.

Amelia Barikin in her book Parallel Presents: The Art of Pierre Huyghe says, that Huyghe went back to the notion of the open present: a present that destabilizes the replacement of the “then” with the “now”; a kind of time that figures as a volatile constellation of moments, each interlaced with the other.^1

So he took the well-known movie Rear Window as the original experience and got rid of everything which is excessive and left only minimalistic low budget instruments to create a feature film where only movement of camera and actors matters. Huyghe later described the figures in Remake as “copiers” who feel nothing: “I said to them: you are mouths that talk and bodies that move in space. Copy James Stewart, not the character he is playing.”^2

French critic Jean-Christophe Royoux astutely described Remake as a structural fold by which Hitchcock’s film is both exhibited and “kept in the background.”^3

This way he has deconstructed cinema and used its semiotic in order as an artistic expression of the philosophical idea behind. 

References:

  1. Barikin, A., 2012. Parallel Presents: The Art of Pierre Huyghe. 1st ed. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press. [p.51]
  2. Pierre Huyghe, in Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster and Pierre Huyghe, “L’État de chantier permanent,” Purple Prose, no. 9 (Summer 1995); trans. by the author.
  3. Jean-Christophe Royoux, “Free-Time Workers and the Reconfiguration of Public Space: Several Hypotheses on the Work of Pierre Huyghe,” in Pavel Büchler and Tanya Leighton, eds., Saving the Image: Art after Film (Glasgow: Centre for Contemporary Arts, 2005), 180–200.

Cover image:
https://giphy.com/gifs/alfred-hitchcock-james-stewart-rear-window-3SF7JSl3o53UI/