Máscara Humana

Fundación Ortega MuñozAyN


(Sin título) Máscara humana [(Untitled) Human Mask], 2014 (fotograma) Película en color, sonido estéreo, formato 2:66 Duración: 19 min Cortesía del artista; Hauser & Wirth, Londres; y Anna Lena Films, París

Pierre Huyghe

(Sin Título) Máscara Humana
30 de marzo, 2017 – 16 de julio, 2017

En las obras de Pierre Huyghe la diferencia entre ficción y realidad se borra al tiempo que se construye la experiencia del mundo. En entornos magistral y minuciosamente construidos, personas y marionetas se comportan como iguales mientras que animales y plantas parecen circular tranquilamente a ambos lados de la frontera de lo imaginario. (Sin título) Máscara humana, realizada en 2014, nos lleva a un paisaje japonés marcado por el reciente tsunami y la catástrofe nuclear de Fukushima. Allí se nos muestra una escena inspirada en hechos reales: en un vacío y ruinoso restaurante, un simio, cuyo rostro está cubierto por una máscara de teatro tradicional, parece esperar a los clientes que nunca llegan. Rastreando impacientemente el lugar, deteniéndose para escuchar si alguien se acerca, o mirando por la ventana, el personaje atrapado en un decorado irreal interpreta un número cuyo tema, según ha declarado el propio artista, no es otro que la condición humana.



Pierre Huyghe
Untitled (Human Mask)
March 30–July 16, 2017

Guggenheim Bilbao
Abandoibarra et.2
48001 Bilbao


Curator: Manuel Cirauqui

Film & Video Gallery

The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao will premiere in Spain Pierre Huyghe’s Untitled (Human Mask) (2014). This is the tenth piece presented in the Film & Video Gallery since it opened in 2014 as a showcase for video art, video installations, and the moving image.

Pierre Huyghe (b. Paris, 1962) conceived Untitled (Human Mask) in 2014 after learning about two trained monkeys who served and entertained patrons at a traditional sake house in Japan. Huyghe’s film is shot in a location ravaged by the recent tsunami and ensuing nuclear disaster at Fukushima. A singular inhabitant wanders through a gloomy interior wearing a traditional Japanese theater mask, a woman’s wig, a white shirt, and a dress resembling a school uniform. We soon realize it is a monkey, although the creature’s attentive, anxious attitude and body language suggest an ambiguous humanity. Through this piece, Huyghe reflects on the paradox of observing animal behavior in a surreal setting with the intention of exploring reality—in other words, he reflects on the human condition.

The film opens with a sequence recorded by a drone in a desolate landscape dotted with derelict buildings. Inside one of those abandoned houses, the narrative emerges from the juxtaposition of close-up shots of the ape, whose movements become increasingly agitated. Although the place is deserted, the animal goes about the tasks she was trained to do: she diligently sets out a napkin, serves a bottle to an empty table, and performs the same pirouettes that once made patrons laugh in amazement. And she does this in the midst of a world that is practically destroyed, where the only signs of life are a cat, the cockroaches that scurry around the kitchen, and the maggots in bags of food left open. The female voice emanating from some undisclosed location adds to the tension of the scene, echoing the tsunami warnings issued to alert the population of impending disaster. The lack of expression of the mask further emphasizes the alienation and solitude of the figure, making us wonder about her feelings and emotions.

As in many of his works, Huyghe blurs the boundaries between fiction and reality by using characters that confront us with human nature and the mystery of our own behavior. The monkey looks towards us but cannot see us through her «human mask,» while we observe in amazement the behavior of those beings with which we share the world.