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Leigh Hatts

Pierre Huyghe at Tate Modern

The first solo UK exhibition by French artist Pierre Huyghe has brought a pair of dancing doors to Tate Modern.

Pierre Huyghe at Tate Modern
Pierre Huyghe at Tate Modern

Celebration Park features several Huyghe projects including three films.

The artist is familiar with Alice in Wonderland and so the doors are large to make the adult feel like a child in a dream. Before entering the doorway you might catch the Cheshire Cat's smile.

Huyghe's mobile doors make people move and react and it is his custom to set up events but let others decide what happens.

His film Streamship Day 2003 shows a community event devised by him in a new American housing estate. The film, shown on a huge screen, opens with a young deer and a rabbit deep in a forest. We see the deer wander into the cleared area being filled with new houses which have not only the attractive American veranda but three garages each.

Then we see the thinly attended first 'annual' event opened by the town supervisor. Surprisingly the costumed characters include a green man respresentling the lost forest.

Huyghe does not just invent events but tries to create a new calendar. In one room there are huge placards which look as if they have just been torn from a desk calander. February 13 becomes Lovers' Day. Leap Year Day has two entries devoted to celebrating left handed people and animal intelligence. In September we are asked to look ahead to the day George Bush leaves office – 20 January 2009.

Another film, A Journey that wasn't, intertwines amazing footage from a ship of the melting Antartic with the expedition restaged as a musical in a New York ice rink. As with Steamship Day, the shots of the natural world are the more exciting.

Visitors should allow at least two hours to explore all the strange installations.

Pierre Huyghe: Celebration Park is at Tate Modern daily until Sunday 17 September; admission 7 (conc 5.50).

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