Press Release

Leeum Museum of Art presents Voices, the first solo exhibition of the internationally renowned French artist Philippe Parreno to be held in Korea. Parreno rose to prominence in the nineties, radically redefining the exhibition experience by taking it as a medium and placing its construction at the heart of his process. Voices will be the largest comprehensive survey of the artist to date in Asia, showcasing both existing works from his thirty-year career as well as new works created on the show.



International exhibitions

International ongoing exhibitions

Philippe Parreno, Voices

Leeum Museum of Art, Seoul (South Korea)

28.02 - 07.07.2024




Voices will span multiple spaces within the museum, including the outdoor deck, lobby, M2, Black Box and Ground Gallery. The exhibition will offer a holistic artistic experience of emotional and synesthetic choreography centered around “multiple voices,” a theme that consistently emerges as a key element in Parreno’s work.

In Voices, Parreno breathes life into objects and enables their transformation into subjects; it is the very protagonist that drives the narrative of the exhibition. To Parreno, a “voice” is both a specter and an algorithm that presides over the appearance and disappearance of life, as well as an entity that vocalizes fact and fiction: “To endow an object with a voice is to bestow upon its subjectivity, whether that object is a stone, a forgotten fictional character, a group of children, a ghost, or spirits. To vocalize something, we witness is to appreciate its uniqueness. An object yearns to transition into a subject.”

This exhibition brings together the multiple voices that existed as fragments in the past into a single whole that asks how it may exist here and now. To this end, the artist creates an entirely new voice. With Membrane (2024), a 13.6M tower structure, installed on the outdoor deck of the museum, Parreno worked with a linguist to create a new language to give a voice to this new work. The actual voice of Korean actress Bae Doona transforms into a virtual but real one using artificial intelligence. ∂A (2024), born out of a collaboration with the actress, starts from an untraceable and unintelligible murmur and grows over time to become an entity that speaks, as it learns this “new language.”

Membrane, a cybernetic character with unprecedented cognitive capabilities, interacts with this voice and language called “∂A,” while also controlling every aspect that makes up the exhibition. Equipped with a sensing system that collects all kinds of environmental data, including temperature, humidity, windspeed, noise levels, air pollution and even minute vibrations of the ground, Membrane sends this information into the museum’s interior, while also stimulating and modifying the voice. This voice oversees the exhibition like a puppet master. And the museum becomes a giant automaton. The lights flicker, the walls move, and the clockwork ticks. The sound of melting snow; the motion of a grand speaker; and projections of light emerge and wander here and there. A synchronized stream of unintelligible language and music overwhelms the space. A video switches on; a firefly appears; a piano starts to play on its own. Armed with a new voice, AnnLee continues to speak about herself, persistently defining who she is. It’s like a world of magic, but it’s not just an illusion, because the exhibition is operated by a self-contained system, and every element is perfectly under control. Yet the countless variables and chance interactions occurring within this system make it impossible to foresee what will happen next. VOICES, interdependent, just like any living organism, continues its unpredictable evolution.

A special commission for this exhibition, ∂A was created in collaboration with actress Bae Doona, conlangers David J. Peterson with Jessie Sams, speech generation, voice cloning by Pierre Lanchantin, and sound design by Nicolas Becker with Lexx.

Philippe Parreno has invited fellow artist Tino Sehgal to participate in the exhibition, who has created a new live work This ornation (Schéhérazade Parreno) (Voices version) (2024) that is presented on the escalator between the Black Box and the Ground Gallery space.

Public programs to be held in conjunction with the exhibition include a conversation between the artist Philippe Parreno and Sungwon Kim (Chief Curator and Deputy Director of Leeum Museum of Art); a special lecture by Nicolas Bourriaud (Artistic Director of the 15th Gwangju Biennale) exploring Philippe Parreno’s oeuvre along with examining important artists in the 1990s and monthly research seminars navigating through the artist’s works. Workshops invite visitors to engage with Philippe Parreno’s works by drawing and playing with shadow puppets.

The exhibition is supported by Mercedes-Benz Korea’s culture and art sponsorship program, “Mercedes-Benz Selection.”

View of Philippe Parreno, VOICES, Leeum Museum of Art, Seoul, 2024. Courtesy of Leeum Museum of Art. © Philippe Parreno. Photo: Hyun Jun Lee.

View of Philippe Parreno, VOICES, Leeum Museum of Art, Seoul, 2024. Courtesy of Leeum Museum of Art. © Philippe Parreno. Photo: Hyun Jun Lee.

Exhibition 29 February - 01 May 2024. Leeum Museum of Art, 60-16, Itaewon-ro, 55-gil, Yongsan-gu - 140-893 Seoul (South Korea). T +82 2 2014 6900





Philippe Parreno, Voices, Leeum Museum of Art, Seoul (South Korea)

© ArtCatalyse International / Marika Prévosto 2024 All Rights Reserved