Pierre-Philippe Hoffman - 'Portrait of a Landscape'


07/04/2022 - 08/05/2022

Pierre-Philippe Hoffman - 'Portrait of a Landscape' Pierre-Philippe Hoffman - 'Portrait of a Landscape'

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Following initial research into Belgium (Lieux Communs / Gemeenplaatsen, 2010), the artist has, for the past 8 years, been focussing on Switzerland, a highly picturesque tourist destination, in an attempt to alter our perception of it. While our memories of such places are essentially of areas which are the most emblematic – either because of their reputation or aesthetic quality – the artist’s creation seeks to ensure that the places in-between and the places which, on the face of it, are unremarkable do not fall by the wayside. Pierre-Philippe Hofmann has chosen to bring together the full array of diversity that the Swiss landscape has to offer by travelling on foot, following 10 concentric paths which start at the borders and lead him all the way to its geographic centre. Covering over 2700km, in all seasons, the artist decided to take a fixed video shot lasting one minute after every kilometre. Dizzyingly intense and extraordinarily visually dense, the project is made up of a panoptic installation of 72 screens. The experience continues in the form of a book reproducing all the images while giving them new life through movement using an optical recognition application. The readers merely need to scan the pages of the book with their smartphone to access over a thousand videos and dozens of audio clips linked to the specific places the artist came across on his journey. Reading the book becomes a true life-size visit, a walk through the pages.

Another version of the installation Portrait of a Landscape is in the collection of the Landesmuseum Zürich.

Born in Brussels (CH & B, 1976), Pierre-Philippe Hofmann takes a keen interest in the way the contemporary relationship to space and time conditions our perception of the world. Since his studies at the ERG in Brussels, he has used restrictive protocols to explore new ways of representing reality. Often in the form of installations, he regularly uses photography, video and sound in his projects. His research focuses on the landscape; the projects Lieux Communs - Gemeenplaatsen and Portrait of a Landscape attempt to describe two territories, Belgium and Switzerland, in a global, yet specific way.

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