Philippe Parreno: C.H.Z.
Renowned for his sophisticated ruminations on nature and artifice, character and its construction, and the transformative lens of history and nostalgia, Philippe Parreno (born 1964) created C.H.Z. in a zone between science and fiction. According to NASA, any planet hospitable to life will most likely orbit a pair of dwarf stars in a Continuously Habitable Zone. The effect of multiple stars is black vegetation. Working with landscape architect Bas Smets, the artist painstakingly constructed a garden of black plants on the side of a mountain in Portugal, where the garden continues to flourish outside the framework of an art object; Parreno then shot a poetic, abstract film in that alien landscape, rendering the territory inescapably cinematic. C.H.Z. features the artist’s dark, impasto ink drawings, which functioned as a storyboard for the cinematographer Darius Khondji, as well as sequences of stills of the seven stages of the film. Parreno’s reflections and commentary are featured alongside the images and paired with comprehensive essay by Nancy Spector, deputy director and chief curator of the Guggenheim Museum, New York.