Pierre Huyghe: Variants at Kistefos Museum

Variants is an ongoing project presented by French artist Pierre Huyghe as the 50th work in the sculpture park of Kistefos Museum in Norway. It is Huyghe’s largest permanent work to date, and the most ambitious Kistefos sculpture park commission so far. Everyone remembers the artist’s groundbreaking presentation at dOCUMENTA (13) in 2012 in Kassel.

Over the course of his 25-year career and different media, Huyghe has developed an artistic practice that examines the complex and often contradictory ways in which humans relate to the natural world and to its intelligent and often inscrutable systems. Huyghe has incorporated living animals, plants, and insects as components in many of his visionary projects. Throughout his various networks of objects and ideas, Huyghe explores the paradoxical rift between what we think we know about the world and what it can and cannot, in turn, tell us.

Variants comprise artificial intelligence, 3D-scanned objects, living creatures and organisms, and offers something completely unique in the sculpture park. Variants is located on a previously inaccessible island that is often flooded. The project is a multipolar entity that perceives, generates and modifies. Scanned forest, real-time simulation, generative mutations and sounds, intelligent camera, environmental sensors, animals, plants, micro-organisms and materialized mutations: synthetic and biological material aggregate in the work.

Image: Pierre Huyghe
© Pierre Huyghe
Courtesy of the artist; Kistefos Museum; Hauser and Wirth, London
Photo: Ola Rindal
2021 – ongoing
Permanent site-specific installation
Scanned forest, real-time simulation, generative mutations and sounds, intelligent camera, environmental sensors, animals, plants, micro-organisms and materialized mutations: synthetic and biological material aggregate