Exploring Boundaries: Pierre Huyghe’s “Liminal” at Punta della Dogana


From March 17 to November 24, 2024, Punta della Dogana welcomes visitors to immerse themselves in the enigmatic realm of “Liminal,” an ambitious project conceived by acclaimed artist Pierre Huyghe in collaboration with curator Anne Stenne. Representing one of Huyghe’s most daring endeavors to date, “Liminal” presents a captivating fusion of new creations alongside seminal works spanning the past decade, drawing extensively from the prestigious Pinault Collection.

At the heart of “Liminal” lies Huyghe’s perennial fascination with the interplay between the human and the non-human, encapsulated in his visionary approach to art as speculative fiction—a realm where the boundaries between reality and imagination blur, and possibilities unfold. For Huyghe, fiction serves as a gateway to the conceivable and the inconceivable, offering glimpses into alternate realities and potentialities.

PIERRE HUYGHE “Liminal” Punta della Dogana

Transforming Punta della Dogana into a fluid, ever-evolving environment, “Liminal” serves as a liminal space—a threshold where human and non-human entities converge, coalesce, and mutate. Here, subjectivities undergo continual transformation, shaped by encounters with perceptible and imperceptible events that permeate the exhibition’s ethereal atmosphere.

The journey begins with the titular piece, “Liminal,” a mesmerizing simulation of an enigmatic humanoid form devoid of conventional attributes—a symbolic conduit between disparate worlds, bridging the chasm between sentient reality and enigmatic existence. Echoes of cognition and sensation reverberate through the space, manifested in the cerebral organoid’s haunting response to stimuli.

PIERRE HUYGHE “Liminal” Punta della Dogana

As visitors traverse the exhibition, they encounter a cacophony of unfamiliar voices—a testament to the invention of a new language, “Idiom,” conceived through stimuli captured by masks worn by human participants. Simultaneously, Huyghe’s film “Human Mask” unveils a poignant exploration of identity as a monkey dons a human visage, performing repetitive actions in a desolate Fukushima eatery.

Amidst the exhibition’s surreal tapestry, “Camata” unfolds—an enigmatic ritual enacted by machines surrounding an unearthed skeleton in the desert, blurring the boundaries between cognition and automation, life and afterlife. Meanwhile, “Neuro-Annlee” offers a mesmerizing glimpse into the neural landscapes of imagination, as mental images of the anime character Annlee undergo transformative metamorphosis.

For Huyghe, “Liminal” transcends the confines of conventional exhibitionism, evolving into an unpredictable ritual where new realities converge and coalesce without hierarchical distinction. Through “Liminal,” viewers are invited to transcend the confines of human perspective, embracing the inhuman and the unfamiliar as avenues for exploration and discovery.

“Liminal” marks a collaborative venture with the Leeum Museum of Art, Seoul, set to host an exhibition of Pierre Huyghe’s work in February 2025—a testament to the exhibition’s global resonance and enduring impact.

PIERRE HUYGHE “Liminal” Punta della Dogana